WOONSOCKET – United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman announced Wednesday that the United States Attorney’s Office will debut its "Circles and Silence" community outreach program on Sept. 24 during a virtual opioid addiction and prevention town hall Zoom meeting for residents of the Blackstone Valley hosted by the Woonsocket Prevention Coalition.

The Woonsocket Prevention Coalition will be joined at the meeting by Dr. James McDonald, medical director of the Rhode Island Department of Health; Major Dennis Leahey (Ret.), program manager for the RI State Police HOPE Initiative; and United States Attorney’s Office Community Engagement & Crime Prevention Coordinator David Neill.

The program, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, will discuss the opioid epidemic and its effect on individuals, families and our communities and host the premiere screening of "Circles and Silence."

The public is invited to join the Zoom Town Hall Meeting by clicking https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85449845545?pwd=MXdiR2pQMkVGNjV2eTB0ckVUVkpTZz09 or use Zoom meeting ID 854 4984 5545, Passcode 337318.

"Circles and Silence," a powerful, locally-produced 16-minute documentary film is narrated by a diverse group of Rhode Island young adults whose personal stories delve deeply into their distinct journeys of drug dependency and recovery. The film documents their paths from addiction, in some instances to prison, to successful management of addiction, to working daily to lead productive and healthy lifestyles.

“Recognizing and coping with substance abuse disorder, whether personally or by assisting a family member or friend who is struggling, is even more urgent during these difficult times in which we have witnessed a significant increase in substance abuse,” said United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman. “The individuals we meet in 'Circles and Silence' bravely share their challenges and their successes as they work hard to remain on a positive path forward.”

In addition to sharing their stories in this remarkable documentary, individuals who appear in the film will participate in live talk-backs with audiences. Additionally, the United States Attorney’s Office makes available to audiences critical information about substance abuse disorder and the many prevention, recovery, and social service programs available statewide through an expansive network.

​The documentary film "Circles and Silence" was produced collaboratively by the United States Attorney’s Office and two Rhode Island-based production companies, Left of Creative, with offices in South Kingstown and Los Angeles, Calif., and DK Communications in Providence.

Video clips from "Circles and Silence" can be viewed at www.justice.gov/usao-ri/circles-and-silence. The United States Attorney's Community Outreach Office is available to provide a Circles and Silence Program to all Rhode Island schools and students grades 7-12, and to community and not-for-profit organizations at no cost.

To learn more about the Circles and Silence Program or to schedule a presentation, contact United States Attorney’s Office Community Engagement & Crime Prevention Coordinator David Neill at (401) 709-5035 or at David.Neill@USDOJ.gov.

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