Marlborough – The Marlborough Substance Use Prevention Coalition will present a screening of James Wahlberg’s short film, “If Only,” Wednesday, Jan. 11.
“If Only” follows two families as they deal with their exposure to opioids and the misuse of prescription drugs. The 38-minute realistic drama vividly shows how addiction affects not only to the user, but entire families and communities.
“The film addresses one of the most serious health issues facing our society today. Addiction touches every culture, every family and ultimately every one of us,” Wahlberg said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to create a project that informs, educates and leads viewers to recognize the warning signs of opioid use and to participate in a solution.”
The film, made possible by The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Millennium Health with the help of Recovery Centers of America, is meant to serve as a catalyst for conversation about the availability, misuse and proper disposal of prescription and recreational drugs. It is intended to prompt the critical discussion that is needed to create ongoing awareness of this crisis and to formulate a full community “plan of attack.” It is a crisis that requires the awareness, engagement and commitment of all ages and community members.
Discussions like the one encouraged by “If Only” keep the opioid crisis front and center. School officials have invited Wahlberg to show the film to students during the school day, and the evening program will be open to the public. Marlborough’s school community will assist in publicizing the event and initiating discussions, not only to create awareness around this epidemic that is affecting the city, but with the hope of reducing the stigma surrounding all aspects of addiction.
“I hope that those affected in any way by this epidemic will feel comfortable to come forward to receive help and support,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant.
Wahlberg announced at a recent interview that Recovery Centers of America, one of the film’s sponsors, will be making almost 400 recovery beds available in Massachusetts during the summer of 2017. This commitment alone shows that the discussion is working.
The Marlborough Substance Use Prevention Coalition invites residents to join the city officials, teachers, teenagers and neighbors to continue this imperative discussion Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the 1 Lt. Charles W. Whitcomb School Auditorium, 25 Union St., in Marlborough. Doors will open at 6 p.m.; the program will begin at 7 p.m.
To register for this free public event, visit www.if-only-marlborough.eventbrite.com.