Over 100,000 people lose their lives every year to drug overdoses. Those people lose their lives, and families and friends lose their loved ones to addiction. Those people are not a statistic; they are others’ children, parents, spouses, teachers, doctors, mentors, and so much more—their lives matter.
My brother, Peter, was only 29 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While my brother was fighting cancer, he was also battling an addiction to the pain pills prescribed to him by doctors. When Peter was going through the side effects of chemotherapy, his doctors prescribed him high doses of opioids to help manage the pain. Peter slowly became dependent on opioids. It was hard to watch his health decline, not only from cancer but also from the addiction to prescription opioids. Two years after Peter’s diagnosis, he sadly passed away.
While my family was heartbroken, I knew I had to take that energy and do something for Peter. I realized that there was little to no monitoring once a powerfully addictive medication is prescribed to patients. I recognized that there is also an awful stigma around people who misuse opioids. As I said, those who lose their lives to drug abuse are not just a statistic; they are people.
I decided to dedicate my work to make a change in the industry. I wanted to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and make critical changes to how opioids are administered.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU
I’m pleased to announce my role as the executive producer in the film, PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
Directed by Emmy® award-winning writer and filmmaker, Andy Capper, and executive produced by me and Malibu Films, PEOPLE LIKE YOU is the filmmakers’ way of shining a light on the personal stories of addiction so often ignored by media. While news networks have sensationalized the war over the pharmaceutical and medical industry’s part in the opioid crisis, the story of the patients themselves is very often lost in the noise.
This film aims to help people better understand the addiction epidemic. In the film, the crew follows a mother whose son is struggling with addiction. The son follows a similar journey that many people with substance abuse disorder and their families are familiar with: substance use, detox, recovery, relapse, and repeat.
I became the executive producer for PEOPLE LIKE YOU because I felt it was important to shed light on the opioid epidemic. Addiction is an actual disease that needs to be discussed so there can be awareness.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU is being released through Vivera Cares, Vivera’s nonprofit company dedicated to positively impacting the addiction crisis. To watch the trailer and stream the film now, visit peoplelikeyoufilm.com.
Director: Andy Capper
Director of Photography: Ismail Shallis
Executive Producer: Paul Edalat
Editor: Nikki Nilan
Music: Sian Alice Group
Studio: Happy Now Film / Malibu Films / Vivera Cares