A 2017 report found that nearly one in 10 patients prescribed opioids to manage pain after surgery went on to persistent use of the medications, meaning they were still taking opioids three to six months after their procedure. Despite there being effective non-opioid options to manage pain after surgery, opioids continue to be overprescribed, which has created an unintentional gateway to opioid addiction and dependence. This year, CADCA has teamed up with Pacira BioSciences, Inc. to support their work on the Choices Matter campaign, which aims to empower patients nationwide to discuss non-opioid options for managing postsurgical pain. As part of the Choices Matter campaign, Pacira created a documentary called GATEWAY, which highlights the stories of three families that were impacted by an opioid addiction that began with an opioid prescription to manage pain after surgery.
As part of our partnership with Pacira, CADCA is proud to support Choices Matter on the distribution of this documentary and has partnered on a national public service announcement (PSA) that is being distributed to broadcast stations across the country. The PSA helps drive audiences to the film and encourages consumers to learn more about non-opioid options to manage pain after surgery. Through our partnership, we have a unique opportunity to incorporate this special film into our local coalition events in 2020 as we reinforce our mission to prevent substance use and misuse before it starts.
GATEWAY is already receiving awards for its role in breaking down barriers through film. The documentary, which premiered in October 2019, won Best Director and Best Documentary Featurette from the Festigious Film Festival, as well as Best Documentary Feature from the LA Movie Awards. In addition, the film received an Award of Merit for Documentary Short and Humanitarian Award Honorable Mention from the Best Shorts Competition and was part of the official selection for the Docs Without Borders Film Festival and Impact DOCS Awards. The film will also be screened at the upcoming Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, NJ this March.
The full 40-minute film is available at GatewayFilm.com, and coalitions that are interested in hosting a screening of the film can find a screening toolkit at CADCA.org/resources. We are proud to partner with Pacira and Choices Matter on this project, and we hope that it will be a valuable resource to our member coalitions as we work to disrupt the tide of the opioid epidemic.