By Teri Vance

A new video being distributed across the state is aimed at sparking a larger discussion about opioid addiction and ways to combat it.

“It’s such a big epidemic in Nevada,” said Sam Szoyka, training specialist for Partnership Carson City. “But, at the same time, no one is really talking about it.”

Partnership Carson City created the short documentary, “Voices of Opioid Addiction — A Retrospective,” which showcases several inmates who have battled drug addiction.

“All of their stories are relatable,” Szoyka said. “Everyone can find something in that video that resonates with them personally or a friend or family member.”

The video was first released last month during a premiere at the Brewery Arts Center. More than 50 local and state leaders attended the event, where Attorney General Aaron Ford introduced the film.

“It was really important for community members to see there is something being done,” Szoyka said. “When you watch these people in the documentary being so vulnerable and sharing how opioids have devastated their lives, it shows that we really do need to make this a priority.”

The film is now being distributed to coalitions and other organizations across the state. Individuals are welcome to download the video, but they should work with a local coalition for public broadcasts.

“It’s one of those things that works for kids, it works for adults, it works for elderly people,” Szoyka said. “It’s really nice that this documentary can be so diverse.”

She said it will be more effective for each organization to work within its local community.

“Every community has its own resources,” she said. “There’s such a vast difference between the rural communities and Las Vegas. Each one will have a different method for getting the video out.”

Szoyka said the timing of the video is critical, as Nevada reported 412 overdoses in 2017 with 70% of those being from prescription opioids. In Nevada, there are 73 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people. The national average is 58.

“We need to start the conversation because people don’t really know where to start,” she said. “Through this video, we are shining the light on addiction and destigmatizing it. It shows everyone there is help out there.”

For your information

To request a copy of the documentary, “Voices of Opioid Addiction — A Retrospective,” contact Partnership Carson City at 775-841-4730.

Download the video at