Healthy Minds for Lincoln County to host ‘Written Off’ documentary screening Feb. 3 in Merrill

Film focuses on the opioid crisis through unique first-person account of addiction



MERRILL – Join T.B. Scott Free Library and Healthy Minds for Lincoln County on Monday, Feb. 3 from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. at T.B. Scott Free Library’s Community Room, 106 1st St., Merrill, for the screening of Written Off with a Q&A session to follow. This program is offered at no cost. A light meal will be provided.

Over the last several years, significant strides have been made to combat the opioid crisis. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, opioid-related deaths in Wisconsin declined in 2018 to their lowest level since 2015. The 838 deaths reported represented a 10% reduction from 2017. Although these numbers are encouraging, there are still hundreds and thousands of individuals and families grappling with addiction. More work is needed to prevent addiction, decrease stigma and support individuals in recovery.

Written Off fights the stigma surrounding addiction by chronicling the life of Matthew Edwards, a young man from northern Wisconsin, whose addiction to opioids began at age 15 after being prescribed pain medicine for a minor surgery. Through his personal journal writing, he reveals the secrets he tried so hard to conceal throughout a decade-long struggle to escape addiction.

“Every day, there’s another story about the opioid epidemic, another overdose, another mug shot. But these stories often work to reinforce the stigma of addiction instead of humanizing it,” explains filmmaker Molly Hermann, who wrote, directed and co-produced Written Off. “Matt didn’t want to do drugs, but he didn’t know how to get out. That struggle is right there in his own words. He chronicled every cubic centimeter and milligram that went into his body and every dollar he shelled out to get more, all as he tried desperately to get clean.”

Community members are encouraged to attend and learn more about addiction and the resources that are available locally to support individuals on their journey toward recovery. Mental health and medical professionals from Ascension Medical Group, Centre for Well Being Inc., and Marshfield Clinic Recovery Corps will be available following the film to answer questions.

No registration is needed. For more information contact, Laurie Ollhoff, Assistant Director for T.B. Scott Free Library, at 715-536-7191. This event is supported by Marathon County AOD Partnership, Raising Awareness, Northwoods Coalition and Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital.

Healthy Minds for Lincoln County is a part of Live Well Lincoln, a collaborative that strives to promote partnerships within the community to improve health through advocacy, prevention and implementation of best practices. To learn more about Healthy Minds for Lincoln County contact Kristin Bath at 715-539-1373 or [email protected] or Debbie Moellendorf at 715-539-1077 or [email protected].

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