‘Recovery Boys’ Another Great Documentary On Opioid Crisis

When I watched the parade scene in ‘Recovery Boys’ a Netflix original documentary created by the producer of Heroin(e), I felt like I was watching a parade in my hometown. The backdrop of the empty, gutted downtown looked eerily similar in concept.

But, in Preble County, an apparent change in the heroin supply, dropped the number of overdoses calls in Eaton, Ohio from about 10 per month in 2017 to about two per month this. Aggressive policing and court-mandated Vivitrol shots, also appears to have altered heroin use in the county — by driving the chemically addicted to using meth. According to an article in Saturday’s The Register-Herald, the executive director of our mental health and recovery board said,

“In the state of Ohio, Preble County is number one in meth use.”

Ohio has 88 counties, and with 40,000 or so residents, we are a small county.

What Can You Do?

As I interact with various locals on social media, though, there does not appear to be a resolve to solve the issue, rather more of a ‘let the professionals figure it out’ approach.

That is what is refreshing about Recovery Boys. The film is set in nearby West Virginia, and it chronicles the life of four men who are struggling with heroin addiction. All four have entered a rehab facility that is the brainchild of a man whose son is a recovering addict. Rather than resign the issue to the professionals — although he is trained in substance abuse treatment — the father decide to go his own way and create a unique approach to treatment.

What unfolds in a farm-based treatment center where the chemically-addicted work the farm in addition to the ‘inner work’ that recovery requires.

I won’t reveal how each of the four men did, but obviously with a chemical as intense and as addicting as heroin, it’s not always a win-win story. But, the producer does an excellent job presenting the humanity of these men — men who are often reduced to stereotypes in my county.

A minor, albeit troubling, subplot that unfolds in the story is the reality that the children, especially young ones, are extremely vulnerable in our country. One of the men lost custody of his two young girls (less than five years old), and one of his girls is molested by a foster parent. This is one of the side issues that gets buried in our culture’s ‘disgust with druggies.’ Their children often pay a high price, especially in small counties where adequate oversight does not exist.

The movies moves at an appropriate pace and it will make you think — and hopefully it will help the apathetic or the ‘they made their choice’ crowd, better understand the disease of addiction, so small communities like mine can shed titles like ‘meth capital.’

Rated 5 out of 5.

Categories: 8th congressional district, drug use, movies, My America | Tags: ,

‘Wild Wild Country’ Documentary Pits Small Town America Against Religious Guru

If you enjoy American history, and a well-narrated story, tune into Wild Wild Country on Netflix. It’s binge worthy.

This six-part Netflix original weaves together hours of newsreel beginning in the early 1980s and commencing near the end of the decade. It tells the story of the Rajneesh community located just outside of Antelope, Oregon. Antelope was a town of less than 100 citizens when the Rajneesh community, followers of Osho an Indian mystic guru with a penchant for Roll Royce vehicles, decided to build a city inside the same county as Antelope.

What unfolds over the course of the 6-hour show is a takeover of the small town via the election of Rajneesh members to the local council and, eventually an attempt to win the majority of seats on the Board of County Commissioners.

To review the series, would in many ways, reveal too much of the story, so I won’t. However, I will say I was impressed with the style of storytelling, and found the story intriguing. It is yet another window to peer through to uncover what it means to be an American. The series exposes some of our traits, both good and bad, and demonstrates, in my opinion, how beliefs and motivators often have nothing to do with one’s nationality — they are just universal human tendencies.

Rating: 4.5/5

Categories: American History, movies, Religion

1973 Movie Examines Kennedy Assassination

I’ve been doing a lot of newspaper research recently dealing with the 1960s and 1970s, and as I was skimming through a publication I came across a 1974 Burt Lancaster movie advertisement for Executive Action. The movie is a fictional look at the assassination of John F. Kennedy — a subject that I have always found intriguing.

Although the acting in the movie reminds me of the acting from that era — which is to say it’s a little overdone for me — the movie is actually a decent flick. It intersperses historical footage with the movie– and in some ways reminds me of Oliver Stone’s film, JFK. However, the beauty of Executive Action is, unlike JFK, the conspiracy it attempts to explain is much simpler and thereby easier to follow.

The movie follows the same, and oft heard, theory, though, that three gunmen were involved in Kennedy’s death. The film ends with a list of 18-20 firsthand witnesses that died under mysterious circumstances.


After watching that film, I stumbled unto the 2013 film Parkland. This film has a 6/10 rating on IMDb which is a bit low in my opinion. I’ll admit it’s not the best film I’ve watched, but what I did like about the film is it told the JFK assassination story from the angle of the hospital staff. The small hospital was pulled into history that fateful day, and ordinary people came face-to-face with the severity of the murder. The film does a decent job capturing the confusion that existed (based on other accounts) between local and federal authorities.

It was also the hospital used when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot just a few days later.

The way Oswald’s family was treated after his death is displayed fairly accurately in the film. And, for me, I did learn something new I never realized — until watching the film — that Oswald had a brother.

The film ends with bio sketches of the key characters, including Oswald’s brother.

Rating: 3/5 for each.

Categories: movies