WisEye Releases Documentary: “Straight Forward: The Truth About Addiction”

Widespread viewing predicted for schools, communities throughout Wisconsin

September 29, 2017

A new documentary targeting the opioid epidemic in Wisconsin is now available through WisconsinEye, the state’s public affairs cable network, in conjunction with addiction expert Skye Tikkanen and filmmaker Tony Wood.

Straight Forward: The Truth About Addiction features honest, in-depth interviews with young Wisconsinites fighting to recover their lives and futures from addictions that in most cases, involved opioids.

“The message is as raw and disturbing as it is vital and inspiring,” said Jon Henkes, president and CEO, WisconsinEye. “If we can help even one person avoid the trap of addiction, this will have been a successful endeavor.”

Wisconsin is not immune to the growing devastation tied to opioid and heroin addiction. The documentary was produced with the goal of having it shown to every middle and high school student in Wisconsin. Hospitals have identified alcohol and drug addiction as one of the top health needs in their communities. The new documentary could be a tool in drawing members of the community together with health care providers, educators, law enforcement and social service agencies to discuss the problem and take action to prevent and treat addiction. Straight Forward was premiered at Oconomowoc High School September 19 to more than a thousand students, parents, educators and community members.

Anyone interested in showing the documentary and making use of the educational materials should visit www.WisEye.org. The media kit is here: http://bit.ly/2x0063X.

“Straightforward, peer-to-peer messaging has the greatest potential to impact large numbers of our young people, many of whom are at moderate to high risk of addiction,” Henkes said. “We hope this documentary is seen by every young person, and every adult involved with young people.”

Andy Anderson, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Aurora Health Care, provides the introduction to the documentary. “Aurora Health Care is greatly concerned about the devastating effect of opioid addiction in our communities, a growing epidemic which our providers and caregivers see firsthand on a regular basis,” Anderson said. “As such, we’re committed to proactive prevention and treatment efforts across our footprint, and are proud to support this important documentary.”

Straight Forward: The Truth About Addiction features a group of diverse young Wisconsinites from across the state sharing their personal stories of:

  • What happened with their addiction;
  • How they became addicted;
  • What prompted them to get help;
  • What they would say to others; and,
  • The hope and confidence they now have for their futures. 

The documentary also includes stories from parents with an addicted child, and a child who had an addicted parent. The full documentary is 48 minutes in length, with eight topical chapters that can be used or viewed independently. The eight documentary Chapters include: Getting Started, Rock Bottom, Recovery and Advice for a Friend. Curriculum and discussion guides are available.

This story originally appeared in the September 29, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter