September 20, 2018

West Branch theater to play documentary on battling addiction

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WEST BRANCH — With around 23 million people in the United States battling drug or alcohol addiction, the Drug Free Coalition of Ogemaw County will be playing the documentary “The Anonymous People” at the West Branch Cinema 3 for free Monday, Sept. 10.

Recovery coach and member Mark Vick said the documentary addresses the stigma of alcohol and drug abuse in our country. There will also be a resource fair, snacks and door prizes, he said.

He said the coalition chose September since it is Recovery Month, and the theater is donating the space.

Vick said addiction is a major problem and people struggling often end up in legal trouble, in hospitals or dead in the worst-case scenario.

“How do we get to people before they end up in one of those three places?” Vick said. “Or when they do end up in one of those three places, how do we get them from going back? That’s kind of the whole deal.”

Vick said people often assume all addicts are drinking out of paper bags under bridges, but this isn’t often the case.

“You know, that’s what people in 2018 still think,” he said.

Vick said he uses himself as an example to show the disease of addiction can happen to anyone.

“I have a bachelor’s degree,” he said. “I have a master’s degree. I’ve coached Division 1 college basketball. I’ve coached four players who have played NBA, and I’m an alcoholic.”

Vick said he hasn’t had a drink or any other mind altering substance since May 27, 2015. Now, he devotes his time to helping other people struggling with addiction.

Michigan State Community Service Trooper Shane Noble said the viewing is an opportunity to get the conversation started.

“There are resources for people who are struggling with addiction,” he said.

The coalition has been around for a little more than two years and meets once a month, Vick said. Several people attend the meetings, including community members, law enforcement, health department workers and more.

Vick said those who meet put their heads together to work on spreading awareness about prevention, education and treatment.

The show starts at 7 p.m., and there will be a pre-movie reception at 6:30 p.m. After the show, there will be an open discussion about the topic of addiction.

The theater is located in downtown West Branch, at 210 E. Houghton Ave.

For more information, search for the Drug Free Coalition on Facebook.

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