Miceli Co-Hosts Screening Of Opioid Film 'If Only' At The State House
Mar 22, 2016 12:35PM
● By Bill Gilman
"If Only" highlights the dangers of opiate abuse.
Rep. James Miceli, along with his counterpart Rep. Daniel Cullinane of Dorchester, hosted a private State House screening of the film “If Only,” last month.
The film highlights the tragic circumstances surrounding the state’s critical opioid epidemic. The film, which was directed by Jim Wahlberg and produced by Tewksbury’s own Marc Ginsburg, features several members of the Wahlberg family who star in the story of a young adult who with his friends encounter the dark world of dependency.
In attendance were a number of other state legislators from across the state, along with the families of those who had lost loved ones to drug addiction. According to Wahlberg the heartfelt and tragic story calls attention to the opioid crisis and its impact on families and individuals, while also stressing the importance of finding a solution to the growing problem.
Reps. Miceli and Cullinane were the driving forces in arranging a screening at the State House, expressing their desire to have other legislators watch the film and meet with families impacted by the crisis. The film was first screened at Tewksbury High School in January 2015 to a very positive reception, and the producers have since aggressively shown the movie across the state in schools and public forums to raise awareness.
“I remember the grand opening of the film at Tewksbury High School, where segments of the film were shot” said Miceli. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the building after the screening, myself included. The loss of so many innocent people of all ages and incomes worries me greatly, and the film brings attention to the crisis in a new format. We in the government have appropriated millions more to funding beds, restricted prescriptions to fight pills being readily available, and passed plenty of other legislation stemming the tide. However, films such as If Only help brings the community into the conversation, gets parents talking to their kids, and helps prevent our youth from going down this dangerous path.”
In addition to the state house screening Miceli has been very active in working to stem the issue within the community, working closely with Tewksbury-based organization Into Action Recovery and pushing for legislation which increases the number of hospital beds available to those seeking help. Other bills, such as the creation of safe drop-off locations for the disposal of medication, drug education programs, and the monitoring of prescriptions for abuse have made their way along the legislative process, all seeking to help stem the loss of life.