The other day, I had the privilege to be on a nationwide conference call with actor Steve Carell and Values Partnerships discussing the film Beautiful Boy, and the memoirs Beautiful Boy and Tweak. We also discussed the stigma of addiction in the United States.
My latest upper-YA fiction novel is in this realm. And as a patient advocate who has worked with chronic pain patients for years, I am aware that the reality of the opioid epidemic is nuanced, complicated, timely, and important — as is the stigmatization of both pain AND addiction.
You can tell that, like myself, Mr. Carell also cares deeply about this issue on both a personal and professional level.
The message he wants viewers to take away: “The greatest hope is that this movie feels authentic and resonates with people. I guess I hope that the movie expresses unconditional love within a family. The core of this movie is about love. I want people to come away with a sense of hope.”
He mentioned on the call that we need to erase the stigma surrounding these issues, and create a safe space for people to talk about these issues and be present for each other.
I couldn’t agree more. These are discussions that need to be had. Hopefully, film and literature will clear the way.
Thank you to Steve and VP for this opportunity.
(PS: Side note: I also got to be on a call with President Obama once!)