CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It was a packed house Tuesday night for the free viewing of “Oxyana”, a documentary focused on prescription drug abuse in Wyoming County.
“I have never been to a movie in this state that has had a packed theater ,” said Charleston resident Amber Heine. “We had people standing in the back because there were no seats.”
Tuesday’s free showing of the movie at the Park Place Cinemas in downtown Charleston was sponsored by the West Virginia International Film Festival. Heine said it was a good movie.
“It brings to light an issue that’s going on that’s not just out in the back of Oceana,” she said. “I mean it’s all over the state and it’s something people need to look at and address.”
In the film, producer Cass Greener tries to paint a portrait of Oceana, an old coal mining town that has become the epicenter of the Oxycontin epidemic, earning the nickname Oxyana.
Residents in Wyoming County have not been pleased with the film’s portrayal of the town and area and Heine understands their concern.
“It’s hard to see your hometown that you love and adore in such a light like that because most of the time we try to hide the things that aren’t favorable,” she said.
But Heine adds that the movie shows that there is a problem and people need to see it and be aware of it.
Heine wasn’t the only one moved by the film, Kent Higgins of Charleston was as well.
“It is so entrenched and if you don’t know it already come watch the movie,” he said. “And the people are so honest in it that you will go away from it just shaking your head and crying.”
Following the showing a panel discussion was held on possible solutions to the state’s prescription drug abuse problem. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin was among the panelists.