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Walter Armstrong Walter Armstrong

Video: This Vermont Family’s Heroin Heartbreak Is Educating the Nation

Find out for yourself why US Attorney General Eric Holder said this short documentary is a must-see.

2 Substance

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin received nationwide attention after devoting his entire State of the State in January to what he called Vermont’s No. 1 public health problem: heroin addiction, especially among teens and young adults. Yesterday US Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech about the crisis,  praised Vermonters for their Yankee plainspeaking. And he tipped his hat to a recent Vermont-made documentary, The Opiate Effect, as required viewing.

This short film is about Will Gates, a University of Vermont student who died from an overdose in 2009, and it offers an intensely personal account of his family’s ongoing struggle to make meaning out of their tragedy. “Will’s parents and his brother have transformed their story of heartbreaking loss into a powerful force for change,” Holder said. “Fifty thousand people have already watched this video, and I urge you to do the same—because it’s only by working together that we can confront this crisis.”