HBO Heroin Documentary Premieres at Cape Cod Community College

The HBO Documentary Film's poster sits in the Tilden Arts Center lobby at the Cape Cod Premiere Thursday night.

The HBO Documentary Film’s poster sits in the Tilden Arts Center lobby at the Cape Cod Premiere Thursday night.

HYANNIS – Hundreds turned out Thursday night to attend the premiere of the HBO documentary film, “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.

The screening was sold out, with only limited tickets available.

The fact that it was a must-see film for many on the Cape, pleased the film’s director, Steven Okazaki.

“I think it’s a really good sign that people are coming out for a film like this, wanting to talk about it in the open, not passing blame and shame around,” said Okazaki.

The film shares the stories of eight young Cape Codders  battling addiction, and will air on HBO at 9 p.m. on December 28.

“My main goal with the film was just, not necessarily to be educational, not to give a message, but simply give it a human face,” said Okazaki.

Attendees included police and emergency personnel, State Senators Dan Wolf and Vinny deMacedo, and State Representatives Brian Mannal, Randy Hunt, David Vieira, Sarah Peake, and Tim Whelan.

The audience also had a chance to ask questions of Okazaki and other speakers.

The Boston premiere of the film was held on Wednesday night and was attended by Governor Charlie Baker and several other local legislators.

Okazaki said he was thankful for the help he received from the community when making the film.

“To do this film well, you need an open community,” said Okazaki. “People may be afraid that it’s going to hurt the community but it might help the community.”

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe viewed the film on Tuesday, and while he said it was important to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic, he also said he was “troubled by the narrative.”

“Though I applaud the raising of awareness which may result from the movie, I am troubled by the narrative which seems to be ‘accident, prescription pain pills, abuse of same, then on to heroin.’ This is a fraction of the universe of heroin addiction. The most common path is the early abuse of marijuana and alcohol by kids who then progress through a lot of different drugs culminating with heroin or heroin/ fentanyl,” O’Keefe said in a statement.

O’Keefe said the state will face a vote next year on whether to legalize marijuana.

“I respectfully suggest that if we think we have an opiate crisis now with four deaths per day in the Commonwealth, it will be much worse 5 or 10 years after we legalize marijuana. I urge all citizens to carefully weigh the negative impact on our public health and public safety which will result from the legalization of marijuana,” he said


HBO Heroin Documentary

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  1. perhaps our DA should focus more on actually doing something – actually prosecuting dealers, violent criminals and those earning money by dealing to our citizens, and giving users, their victims, rehab. But no, we all live with people who have multiple arraignments, some in the hundreds but no prosecutions and no actual record. He has to stop traveling around the state like he’s some sort of expert and do his job.

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