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What We learned from Chasing Heroin Documentary and Expert Panel

On May 2nd , Recovery Café was proud to host a screening of the Frontline documentary Chasing Heroin, followed by a solutions-based panel of experts. Chasing Heroin focuses on the heroin epidemic facing Seattle and the innovative solutions local experts and social workers are taking to help those struggling with addiction. To watch the documentary online, click here.

Afterward, we welcomed an expert panel, moderated by our Board Chair Dr. Victoria Allen. They explored the themes of the documentary and updated the crowd on where we are now as a city and as a region.

The panel included:

Brad Finegood
Brad Finegood, Assistant Division Director, DCHS Behavioral Health and Recovery Division, King County
Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, Affiliate Associate Professor Health Services and Senior Research Scientist at University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute
Penny LeGate
Penny LeGate, Founder, The Marah Project
kris nyrop
Kris Nyrop, LEAD National Support Director at Public Defender Association













The conversation included many great points including two insights by Brad Finegood that especially resonated: 1) For opiate addicts, they aren’t using to get high; they are using to avoid getting significantly sick that is inevitable in opiate use withdrawal. 2) A law enforcement approach to a public health epidemic is bound to fail.

Dr. Banta-Green shared about the important site StopOverdose.org regarding Naxalone and made the critical point that medically assisted treatment can be an important tool for helping addicts recover. Dr. Allen also reminded the group that we have a Parents of Children Struggling with Addiction Group that meets at the Café on Thursday nights at 7:00pm.

What we know, and this event confirmed, is that we are in the midst of an opiate addiction crisis and that Recovery IS possible! People can and do overcome their addictions. We get to see this joyful reality on a daily basis at Recovery Café.