Local Legislators React to Cape Cod Heroin Documentary

COURTESY OF HBO FILMS One of the heroin addicts featured in the HBO Documentary "Heroin: Cape Cod, USA" which will be screened at Cape Cod Community College next Thursday.

One of the heroin addicts featured in the HBO Documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” which will be screened at Cape Cod Community College next Thursday.

BARNSTABLE – The Cape premiere of the upcoming HBO Documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” is Thursday night at Cape Cod Community College, but the Boston premiere was held last night.

Many local legislators joined Governor Baker in watching the film for the first time at the Revere Hotel and a panel discussion followed.

The film chronicles the stories of eight young Cape residents addicted to the drug, two of which died during production.

The documentary was directed by Oscar-winner Steven Okazaki and will debut on HBO on Monday, December 28 at 9 p.m.

“It’s a very close up, personal, stark, real and sad movie about these people, some of whom are having a terrible time trying to get out of this addiction,” said State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich) said. “A film like this tells a story and for some people to connect with this issue they need to see this,” Hunt said.

State Representative Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) also attended the screening and echoed the sentiments of Hunt.

“I would like all of the members of our Cape Cod community to take a look at this and just see how it is affecting our families and how it is affecting our children and how it is cross-generational,” Whalen said. “Then we can all become part of the conversation moving forward.”

The film did not shock Whelan who spent many years with the State Police.

He said the first step to finding a solution to the issue is for the community to recognize how far this problem reaches.

“Sometimes pulling the curtain back and letting a little bit more sunlight in on the problem is a good thing and I think that is the case here with this issue,” Whelan said.

Whelan added that the film will show the public the reality of what our medical professionals and first responders face.

Hunt spoke out against the Cape residents who were criticizing the film because of its title.

He said the filmmakers chose “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” because they wanted to make the point that even a place that is viewed as a beautiful, tourist destination with oceans and beaches can be just like every other place in the country.

“The reality is it is something that we need to deal with,” Hunt said. “We can’t sweep it under the rug. We can’t pretend like we don’t have a drug addiction problem here on Cape Cod.”

Even though two of the subjects died of overdoses, Hunt said there were a few uplifting stories in the movie with two individuals who have gotten sober and are fighting their addiction.

Whelan said more stories of those fighting out of addiction need to be told and he asked Okazaki to make another film that could focus more on the positive.

“I just want us to provide those people lost in the web of addiction with some hope that there are many opportunities to get healthy, to get clean, that there is hope out there,” he said. “And that they have something to look forward to. Basically, give them a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.”

Hunt and Whelan will both attend the Cape Cod premiere of the film Thursday night at Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Arts Center at 6 p.m.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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