“Swallow THIS: A Documentary about Methadone & Covid-19”
Followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Dr. Helena Hansen, and a person who uses methadone in LA.
Directed by Marilena Marchetti and Helen Redmond
Runtime: 27 min.
“Swallow THIS: A Documentary about Methadone & Covid-19” reveals the profound impact of the pandemic on people who take methadone. Methadone clinics became super spreader sites for the coronavirus because hundreds of people travel to them six days a week to get medicated. In March 2020, federal agencies made an unprecedented decision – every patient was eligible for 14-or 28-day take-home bottles of methadone.
Louise Vincent, the Executive Director of the Urban Survivors Union summed it up, “It took a pandemic for us to get more take-homes.”Directors Marilena Marchetti and Helen Redmond (Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone) traveled across the country to find out what happened. In bracingly honest interviews with patients in Greensboro, North Carolina to New York City to Knoxville, Tennessee to Boston, the new take-home policy was adopted inconsistently. Some experienced liberation from the clinic and others not at all.
Swallow THIS is a call to action to abolish methadone clinics and for pharmacy pick up of the medication.
The documentary centers interviews with people who take methadone and drug user activists. It includes candid interviews with clinic staff, Leo Beletsky, Director of Health In Justice Action Lab, Biz Berthy, Drug Users Union Organizer, VOCAL-NY, Zachary Talbott, President of National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery, and the voices of the Methadone Choir.