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Written Off

Molly Hermann
Robert Lyall
United States, 2016, 87 min.

In English.
Includes adult language.

Grippingly honest personal journals reveal the secrets one man worked so hard to conceal as an innocent prescription for painkillers leads to a 10-year struggle to escape opiates and the stigma that surrounds his addiction. Matt was driven by a desperate need to get a fix more often to avoid withdrawal than to get "high" in a recreational sense. To get what he needed he spun a web of fiction. He was a magnificent liar - smart, creative, persuasive - his lies fed his addiction as much as the actual drugs. But Matt told the truth to himself in two spiral bound journals. He chronicled his daily drug use - sort of like the Bridget Jones of addiction but in cc's, milligrams and dollars instead of pounds, drinks and cigarettes. His journals also tell the story of his countless attempts to quit.

Director's Statement

The Opioid Crisis kills 52,000 people a year - that's like a 9/11 every month - but we think of addiction as a crime. We sympathize with a 3-pack-a-day smoker who has lung cancer but don't offer the same dignity to people suffering with addiction, or families who have lost loved ones. We hope Matt's story will help change that.

Category: Documentary, Award Winner.
Themes: Addiction, Autobiography, Family, Health, Identity, Relationships.

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