Facing the Habit – An Addict’s Tale: Magnolia Martin Documents the Struggle of a Heroin Addict

This is not a flattering story, but one that is brutal, raw, and honest. Using interviews with friends, family, and other addicts, Martin weaves together a very rough fabric that will capture the viewer. How does a handsome, successful, young millionaire stockbroker watch his life circle the drain as his out-of-control addiction overtakes his life? Called a Kiefer Sutherland look-alike, he would seem to have everything: a high paying job, a handsome look and pleasant demeanor, citizenship in one of the world’s wealthiest nations – why would he become addicted? Once addicted, though, the drug becomes a leveling force and all users are taken down. His habit requires him to “boost” or steal due to the enormous cost of maintaining a habit that only grows worse as he becomes more resistant to the effects of the drug he craves.

Magnolia Martin Captures the Tragedy of Addiction in Her Film

Even for 50 minutes, it is difficult to witness the world of this one young heroin addict, as he turns himself into an angry, demanding, dysfunctional human being. Nodding off after shooting up or injecting the drug, Dave begins to slur his words and slowly leaves the world of feeling, functioning adults. He becomes an organism who needs a chemical to avoid pain and suffering, and that pursuit is all that matters and motivates him. This organism even harrasses his aging mother in order to steal fresh needles from her – she, a diabetic woman struggling with her own daily injections–although hers are for her very survival, rather than self-destructive. She shares early photos and memories of her handsome son and the viewer can only imagine the nightmare in which she, too, has been plunged due to his ugly habit.

Facing the Habit Puts a Very Human Face on Addiction

Profiling a controversial new treatment modality using Ibogaine, a drug from West Africa, several former addicts are interviewed for their perspective on the treatment. While not a polished film, this film appears to be deliberately spontaneous and raw, brutal in parts, in showing the reality of some of the ugly side of addiction. Perhaps most poignant of all is the final few moments of the film, when the viewer learns the fate of all those people interviewed. Magnolia Martin should be congratulated for this short documentary about an issue that extracts a huge human toil; it is an amazing short documentary about a painful topic. Most remarkable of all is that this film was ever made.

  • Oppenhunter Films
  • 50 minutes
  • Movie site
  • San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, Best Documentary Short

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