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Film Screening and Q&A—Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone

  • When
  • February 10, 2020 6:00–8:00 p.m.
  • Where
  • Open Society Foundations–New York
    224 West 57th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    United States of America
  • Speakers
  • David Frank, Helen Redmond, and Daniel Wolfe
  • Programs
  • Public Health Program

The Way the U.S. Regulates Methadone Isn’t Working


In 2017, the opioid-related overdose crisis killed more than 47,000 people in the United States. Methadone is the best studied and most effective treatment for opioid addiction and is proven to reduce opioid overdose deaths by more than 50 percent. So why is it easier to get heroin than methadone?

Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone, co-directed by Helen Redmond and Marilena Marchetti, shines a spotlight on the closed world of methadone clinics. An international cast of methadone users, activists, and healthcare providers explain the benefits and the barriers to getting the medication. 

The documentary, filmed in six countries—Afghanistan, Britain, India, Portugal, Russia, and the United States—explores the intersection of methadone with race, class, social control, and stigma. This is the first feature-length documentary that uses the lens of harm reduction to examine the methadone clinic system.


  • David Frank


    David Frank, a sociologist whose work focuses on the intersection of substance use and the war on drugs, is a methadone maintenance treatment patient as well as an advocate for the rights of people who use drugs.

  • Helen Redmond


    Helen Redmond, co-director of Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone, is a video journalist and social worker who has long worked with people who use drugs. 

  • Daniel Wolfe


    Daniel Wolfe is director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program at the Open Society Foundations.

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