HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico-based treatment and recovery center is teaming up with a film production company to help change the stigma associated with addiction and inspire communities to reach out to those struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.
On Monday night, The McShin Foundation sponsored a screening for the new documentary “Tipping the Pain Scale,” at the Henrico Movie Theater. The film talks about the addiction crisis in America and follows the stories of several individuals who once grappled with addiction, but have turned their lives around and are now inspiring others to seek long-term recovery.
The documentary explains current systemic failures in how communities treat addiction and explores pathways to find new, innovative and compassionate ways to treat addicts.
“It’s important to tell the story, the solution side of the story,” says film producer Greg Williams. “We all know the devastation of addiction, these guys are out here trying to be a part of the solution.”
The film features Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, NFL Pro Bowl player, Darren Waller, Richmond-native and educator Joseph Green, WA State Representative Lauren Davis, Community Outreach volunteer, Roz Pichardo and Boston Police Officer, Josh De La Rosa.
De La Rosa is a former drug enforcement officer who switched roles to a community outreach officer. His colleagues joke that he went from “ drug enforcement” to “hug enforcement.”
“We can all play a role in society to help these folks out and as a police officer, I’m at the front lines where I have to be true to what my badge says, which is to protect and serve and I have to serve,” Del La Rosa says.
Richmond-native Joseph Green also played a starring role in the film. Green is now an educator and artist, helping children dealing with mental health issues so they don’t turn to drugs as an outlet.
“The work I do is often seen as prevention,” Green says. “Working with young people and trying to give them access to tools and instilling them with those coping mechanisms, those protective factors that will allow them to weather the inevitable storm that comes in everyone’s life.”
After the film, a roundtable discussion was led by the film’s producer and stars, as well as Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shannon Taylor and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Jessica Aber.