Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Easton Comedienne Sponsoring Screening of Addiction Recovery Documentary

Easton native Liz Russo is best known for being a professional standup comic, but the  screening of "The Anonymous People" she's sponsoring next week has a serious message.

Russo says shes one of the estimated 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction and part of an emerging recovery movement that seeks to change the way society perceives addiction.

"I saw a preview of the film in New Jersey last month and was inspired for a call to action in my own community. I have gotten a positive response to my own proud admission of being a person in long term recovery from alcohol, and there has been an outpouring of support for the film," she said in an announcement that the film is set to be shown at the ArtsQuest Center at Steelstacks in Bethlehem next Wednesday, September 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the event are $10 per person.

"This is truly an important social movement. If I can share what I’ve overcome, I may be able to help others who are struggling. When we share our story, we spark the release of the story within someone else," Russo said. "We make a life by what we give."

The film questions why the United States has criminalized and often gives superficial treatment to addiction instead of treating it as a chronic illness. It highlights how most of the burden of long-term addiction treatment in our country is on anonymous, free, 12-step programs. While those programs protect individuals from stigma, the approach has also unintentionally perpetuated false perceptions of people with addiction, members of the recovery movement say .

"This film is not your tired old addiction story often seen on reality television or in the news," says film producer Greg Williams. "There are no needles hanging out of people’s arms, pictures of the brain, or fried eggs in a pan.  We set out to find the answer to one very fundamental question: Why don’t we treat addiction in this country like any other health issue?"

More than 100 people have already pre-purchased tickets for the screening, "and we still have a week to encourage more ticket sales," Russo said.

To purchase tickets to the screening online or for more details about the event, click here.

To see the trailer and to learn more about "The Anonymous People", click here.

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