With its clear disclaimers, Painkiller pays tribute to the true victims of the opioid crisis

Netflix’s Painkiller includes some incredibly emotional testimonies from loved ones who have died in the opioid crisis, including Christopher Trejo’s grieving mother.

Many TV fans will be familiar with disclaimers at the beginning of episodes that explain how a series has gained creative freedom with the true story it is about. While most of these warnings serve as a boring necessity to avoid litigation, Netflix has taken a different approach with its latest series, Painkiller — which is treading a very similar path to 2021’s Hulu drama Dopesick.

Painkiller makers explain the emotional disclaimers

Rather than simply inserting a forgotten line of text onto a blank screen, Painkiller introduces viewers to some of the real-life family members of young people who died in the opioid crisis depicted in the series.

After reading the written disclaimer, the parents then move on to non-fictional issues, such as their son or daughter dying of complications from opioid addiction, and show photographs of their child, whose life was so tragically cut short , as we see in the case of Christopher Trejo in Episode 1.

Director and executive producer Peter Berg spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the inspiration behind the tearful testimonials said that a traditional disclaimer “didn’t sit well with me.” So I asked if it was an option for parents whose children died from OxyContin to read this disclaimer and then say, “What is not fiction is that my child died from an OxyContin overdose.”

Co-executive producer Eric Newman said in a separate interview that the original disclaimer “felt like we were letting them off the hook, like we were giving them the ammunition that made it very easy to say, ‘Hey, this is all made up.’ Netflix Legal has been very supportive in our efforts to find a way to mitigate this issue.”

John Ales as Dr.  Gregory Fitzgibbons holding up a poster in Painkiller
©Netflix | Keri Anderson

Christopher Trejo

The first episode of Painkiller features an emotional statement from Jennifer Trejo-Adams, the mother of Christopher Trejo, who died on November 20, 2019 at the age of 32 after struggling with OxyContin addiction after taking the drug in the Age of only 15 years was first prescribed years old.

Christopher was born in El Paso, Texas but spent much of his life in San Bernardino, California after moving there for college. He was passionate about sports, especially baseball, and loved history, reading, music, and video games.

In memory of her son, Jennifer established the Christopher Trejo Foundation to provide basic needs to addicts and the homeless in San Bernardino.

A family photo of Christopher Trejo in the back, held by his mother in Episode 1 of Painkiller

Cassie Chism

Episode 2’s disclaimer includes a statement from the mother of Cassy Chism, who passed away in November 2019 at the age of 42 after years of opioid addiction that first emerged in 2007 following surgery for a ruptured ulcer.

Before her death, Cassy was a vivacious, aspiring actress, appearing as an extra in the TV series The Wonder Years and the 2001 film Blow, which earned her a place in the Screen Actors Guild.

A family photo of Cassy Chism as held by her mother in Episode 2 of Painkiller

Matthew Stavron

Painkiller Episode 5 features an emotional statement from Kellie Marie Stavron, the mother of Matthew Stavron, who passed away on September 16, 2007 at the age of just 24.

Motocross enthusiast Matthew suffered a compound fracture when he was just 13 and was given morphine to relieve the pain. Over the next 11 years, Matthew was on and off in rehab after developing an opioid addiction until he was sober in the summer of 2007.

However, after his fiancé broke her neck in an accident, Matthew relapsed and died of an overdose after being prescribed OxyContin, although he suffered no injuries himself. dr It was Lisa Tseng who had mistakenly prescribed the drug to Matthew convicted of second degree murder in 2016 for the deaths of three patients who suffered an overdose.

A family photo of Matthew Stavron shown in Episode 5 of Painkiller

Riley Ward

The sixth and final episode of Painkiller features a statement from Roger and Kim Ward, the parents of Riley Ward, who died at the age of 28.

The Wards, residents of Lake Forest, explained that their son “was trying his best to get by and sober up, but he just couldn’t.”

“He was a wonderful boy,” Roger continued. “He had the biggest heart you’ve ever seen and our lives will never be the same.”

The Ward family holds a family photo of Riley Ward in episode 6 of Painkiller

Patrick and Elizabeth

And finally, episodes 3 and 4 also contain testimonials from the parents of young adults Patrick and Elizabeth.

Unlike some of the cases above, such as Christopher Trejo, Painkiller doesn’t reveal much more about these individuals than their first names.

Patrick’s mother explains in episode 3 that her son died at the age of 24 after taking just one OxyContin pill, while Elizabeth’s mother says she misses her daughter full of life and love.

Family photos shown during the disclaimer in episodes 3 and 4 of Painkiller

painkillers is available for streaming now on Netflix after arriving August 10, 2023.

The contribution “Painkiller” pays tribute to real victims of the opioid crisis with its clear disclaimers and appeared first on HITC.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing EmmaBowman@ustimetoday.com.

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