health care

Like A Daily Airline Crash: 2 Addiction Documentaries Address Death Rate

How bad is the death rate from America’s addiction crisis?

“This is 9/11 happening every ten days,” says a trailer for the new 77-minute documentary, "Untreated & Unheard: The Addiction Crisis in America."

“It’s the equivalent of an airliner crashing every single day and everyone on board dying,” says a trailer for the new 94-minute documentary, “People Like You.”

In other words, the situation is bad!

The documentaries, both focusing on families suffering from addiction and the need to treat addiction as a medical problem, come from nonprofits: the Partnership to End Addiction for “Untreated & Unheard,” and Vivera Cares for “People Like You.”



“Untreated & Unheard”

Thanks to Bill Koenigsberg, a board member of Partnership to End Addiction and the chief executive officer and founder of Horizon Media, the Partnership was able to team up with Paramount’s branded content studio for production -- and “Untreated and Unheard” has premiered on Paramount’s free streaming service Pluto TV. You can stream it here.

“Additional content providers are expected to make it available later this year,” Denise Mariano, the nonprofit’s director, family support and advocacy, tells Marketing Daily. “We want this film to reach every household in America.”

“Too often,” Mariano says, addiction “is perceived as a moral failing with a strong focus on punishment. As a nation, we know how to fix this problem and save lives, but we are failing to act. The unheard voices in this documentary speak to the solutions. We also want people watching to know they are not alone and that there is help and hope.”

Partnership to End Addiction, formed out of the merger of the then-28-year-old Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, launched in the pandemic summer of 2020. Its predecessor organization was the force behind the iconic and long-running “This is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA campaign, which began in 1987.

“People Like You”

Vivera Cares, a nonprofit arm of Vivera Pharmaceuticals, teamed up with Malibu Films and director Andy Capper’s Happy Now Films for “People Like You,” which has debuted on Deeper Movies Channel. You can see it on this rather obscure streaming rental service for $5.99.

“We chose to work with Deeper Movie Channel as they gave us more creative freedom over the documentary,” Paul Edalat, executive producer and Vivera Pharamaceuticals chief executive officer, tells Marketing Daily. “Other large streaming services wanted the right to edit the film.”

Now that the film has debuted, Edalata expresses hope of entering it into festivals, and plans to work with partners for a wider release.

In telling “the personal effects of substance abuse disorder…from a few perspectives,” Edalat says, “the film is aiming to show the various sides of what ‘addiction’ looks like – from patients to loved ones to policymakers.”

Acknowledging that many groups are engaged in their own efforts against addiction, Edalat adds that the documentary will serve as the launching point in a larger project designed to break through different groups’ silos and “bring together various voices in the fight against substance abuse disorder to ignite the conversation.”

On the for-profit side of the business, noting that “most substance abuse disorders start with seemingly innocuous prescriptions for things like pain or anxiety,” Edalat says that Vivera Pharmaceuticals has developed a medical device designed to help combat prescription abuse. Called Zicoh, it uses cloud-based artificial intelligence to “collect and real-time prescribing and dispensing data, generating actionable insights for providers.”

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