"Love in the Time of Fentanyl" Screening
Updated: Mar 17
HHHHRC Executive Director Heather Lusk and Grants & Advancement Manager Nikos Leverenz participated in a panel discussion following a preview screening of “Love in the Time of Fentanyl,” hosted by Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking at Hub Coworking Hawaiʻi in Kakaʻako. The discussion also featured Sarah Blyth, Executive Director of the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS) in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The film spotlights the work of OPS, a supervised drug consumption site that mainly employs active and former drug users. It is currently available to watch in full on PBS’s website.
The discussion featured panelist and audience reactions to the film and an exploration of ways that local policymakers could reduce accidental and fatal overdoses, including the possibility of having a facility like OPS in Honolulu. The panelists also discussed ways to improve the ability of persons who use drugs and service providers to check illicit drugs for fentanyl and other substances, including the use of fentanyl test strips and spectrometers. Leverenz also stated that Hawaiʻi could improve public health by repealing its drug paraphernalia statute entirely, as it doesn’t advance public health and serves as a gateway to protracted criminal legal system involvement. A 2020 report from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Hawaiʻi has the highest average term of probation in the nation. Drug law enforcement, like other aspects of the state’s criminal legal system, disproportionately impacts Native Hawaiians.
HHHRC’s Maddison Moliga and LaVada Beard-Holdener were on-hand to provide overdose prevention training and nasal naloxone to the three dozen in attendance.