In the summer of 2012, documentary filmmaker Bess O'Brien invited producer Erica Heilman to conduct a series of workshops in St. Albans in which various artists encouraged people recovering from opiate addiction to document their experience in words and images.
This was the beginning of what O'Brien now calls "The Hungry Heart Project" - a collaborative effort that has produced an exhibit of photographs, a film by the same name that's opening throughout the state this month, and a series of workshop excerpts from producer Heilman. This week on Morning Edition we'll hear some of those excerpts.
And on Thursday, September 19, Vermont Edition will talk with filmmaker, Bess O'Brien and one of the subjects of her film, The Hungry Heart.
Part 1: The Hardest Lesson
Prescription drug addiction - and substance abuse in general - is a serious though largely invisible problem in Vermont. And the process of recovery is complicated and uncertain, full of relapses and loss. Some people with drug addictions will lose everything before finding recovery - as we hear in this story from a mother whose addiction cost her dearly.
Part 2: I can sleep at night
The support of family and friends can be a critical part of drug addiction recovery. But in the end, recovery success depends on the commitment from the addict. In this segment, a mother talks with her daughter about the difficulty of watching her daughter come to terms with recovery.
Part 3: It's An Illness
There's a lot of misunderstanding and judgment about people with drug addictions. In this segment, two mothers of addicts talk about how communities help, and hinder the process of recovery.