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Addiction film to be screened at HCC

Date: 3/20/2015

HOLYOKE – An award-winning film about America’s addiction epidemic will be shown at Holyoke Community College (HCC) on March 25 at 11 a.m. in the Leslie Philips Theater in the Fine & Performing Arts building.

“The Anonymous People,” by filmmaker Greg Williams, examines the public health crisis of addiction to alcohol and other drugs and the rise of the New Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement.

The event is free and open to the general public and sponsored by HCC Wellness Promotion and Health Education Services with the support of HCC’s Public Health Task Force.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with HCC’s health educator, Bridget Thompson, MPH; Jossie Valentin, MS, senior academic advisor at HCC and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Gary Blanchard, MA, LADC1 and Rich Dufresne, LICSW from WellConnect, HCC’s Student Support Program. Mary J. O’Connor, LMHC, HCC’s coordinator of Wellness Promotion, will be the panel moderator.

Representatives and recovery literature from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) will be available in the theater lobby before and after the screening.

As a person in long-term recovery himself since age 17, Williams, now 29, said, “We set out to find the answer to one very fundamental question: Why do we treat addiction and people with addiction in this country so dramatically differently than people with any other health issue?”

“The Anonymous People” explores how deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The film has won several industry awards, including the 2014 PRISM award for best documentary and the 2014 Media Award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

A preview of “The Anonymous People” is available at, a new multi-media advocacy and storytelling space for people in recovery.

For more information, contact Mary J. O’Connor, HCC coordinator of Wellness Promotion, at 552-2422 or