Recovering from alcohol or drug abuse can be challenging enough, but during a pandemic it can be tougher. September is National Recovery Month and a new Jim Wahlberg film is showing you just how far-reaching this opioid epidemic can be through the eyes of a little girl.
“We often think about addiction and we hear about the alarming number of overdose deaths we have to think about all the people that it affects,” Jim Wahlberg told NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz.
Filmmaker, author, and executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, Wahlberg has a powerful story of recovery himself. He’s been sober for 32 years.
In Jim Wahlberg’s short film, “What About the Kids?”, we see that through 8-year-old Chloe.
Muñiz: Who does Chloe represent or what does she represent?
Wahlberg: Chloe represents a generation of babies, little babies, if you think about it, she is just an 8-year-old girl. She represents a whole generation of young people that are being raised without parents because of this opioid epidemic...Recovery is community, it’s connection, it’s love, it’s a real sense of togetherness. These are all tough in the middle of a pandemic making recovery feel isolating. Overdose rates and death rates have spiked. Addiction alone is isolation, pain, depression but add COVID to that, a pandemic of forced isolation.
We see it the challenges in “What About the Kids.” The short film was shot in South Florida and even features the Archbishop of Miami. It’s a faithful look at the epidemic and a wakeup call.
Wahlberg: If you’re watching this and you know somebody that is in recovery or struggling with addiction, reach out, let them know you love them, that you care for them, and if you’re a person in recovery or struggling, pick up the phone and call somebody else that might be struggling more than you and try to be of service, we need to care for each other, love each other, lift each other up.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the National Helpline sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It is confidential, free and available 24 hours.
You can go to whataboutthekidsfilm.com to watch the film.