A short documentary film made its debut Thursday in Vermont, spreading a message that help is available for substance use disorders and encouraging people to work toward long-term recovery.
The work, released by U.S. Attorney for Vermont Christina Nolan and filmmakers Jeremy Leibovitch and Graham Raubvogel of Prom Creative, is a drug prevention effort that focuses on a business owner in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder.
“The fact I’m standing here today is a miracle,” Justin Goulet said. “I could’ve been dead a thousand times over.”
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It was heroin that could’ve killed Goulet, he said, and an arrest on distribution and gun charges he insists that saved him.
“When you get on the other side of that, you have a gratitude,” Goulet told necn Thursday at the unveiling of the new short film, called “Face of Recovery.”
The Keene, New Hampshire gym owner—who lived in Vermont at the time of his crimes—served a federal prison sentence and is now in long-term recovery.
In what may sound like an unusual pairing, Goulet’s now friends with Nolan, who prosecuted him earlier in her career.
“I consider him a friend, and more than that, I consider him one of my personal heroes,” Nolan said of Goulet, adding that she deeply admires how hard he worked at turning his life around.
Nolan and Goulet appear in the film together, aiming to discouraging young people from even trying drugs.
Jill Lord of Cornish, New Hampshire is Goulet’s mother, and said she is very proud of her son.
Lord bets she’s already watched “Face of Recovery” a hundred times, and said she believes it’s powerful enough to encourage some people in the grip of opioids to seek medical treatment.
“Knowing that recovery is possible is a message that has to be out there, because there’s so many people who are feeling hopeless and helpless–just feeling tormented,” Lord said.
The plan is to tour the short film around Vermont, showing it to students and at recovery centers, with the message that there is hope after drugs and that help is available.
The first such screening, featuring an interactive presentation from Goulet and Nolan, is scheduled for July 19 at the Turning Point Center of Chittenden County.