Documentary on Opioid Addiction Seeks Community’s Help for Solution

the 30-minute show is a collaboration between prairie public television and blue cross blue shield of North dakota

FARGO, ND — Prairie Public and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota say they want to teach the community how they can help solve the opioid epidemic.

They’ve created a documentary which premiered at the Fargo Theater.

The worst part of Joe Moran’s opioid addiction was the withdrawal.

“I just wanted to rip my skin off because the anxiety was so intense,” Moran said. “I would lie on my couch and I would punch it.”

After being high on drugs for 20 years, Moran says he suffered enough and started taking suboxone to wean himself off opioids.

That’s not all it took to quit though.

“It’s not just about taking a medication and you’re fine,” Moran said. “You’ve got to put in the hard work; you’ve got to figure on what’s going on inside your head and deal with your inner demons.”

Ever since getting clean in August 2010, he shares his story with others.

His most recent example is in “The Opioid Epidemic: Seeking Solutions in North Dakota” documentary.

The 30-minute documentary is a collaboration between Prairie Public and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. It premiered at the Fargo Theater and tells the stories of people like Moran who struggled with opioid addiction.

It also addresses how families, communities and resources are affected.

The goal is to show everyone in the community that they can solve the opioid problem.

“It’s so big and it’s so scary sometimes that people feel like it’s gotta be somebody else’s problem or they couldn’t possibly know enough to help,” said Lisa Faust, behavioral health and medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota. “In North Dakota, we’re the kind of state where people come together to solve problems.”

Faust says she’s grateful to all those who shared their stories.

“They were very brave,” Faust said. “It takes courage to come forward, it takes courage to share your story with people.”

While audiences watch the documentary, Moran says he’s really just hoping people understand the struggle addicts go through.

“People who are suffering from addiction are still people that are suffering from addiction,” Moran said. “I chose to pick up, but I didn’t choose to not be able to put it down.”

Prairie Public will broadcast the documentary at 8 p.m. on October 20 for anyone who couldn’t attend the Fargo Theatre’s premiere.

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