Oxyana

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that the town known as Oceana, located in West Virginia is perfect. It is one of the oldest town’s in Wyoming County and is surrounded by pure beauty, mountains filled with colour, calm rivers flowing on the outskirts of town with its inhabitance moving at a leisurely pace. All of the above is true but in recent years a more sinister side has evolved from this seemingly innocent place.

Oxycodone is an opiate based prescription drug which has begun to plague much of America with widespread addiction, but this is no more evident than in Oceana or rather Oxyana, with it having been said that here “you either work in the mines or you sell pills”.

Oxyana is an award-winning film by Sean Dunne, it takes us right into the heart of this crippling addiction and presents us with the true heartbreak and despair faced by those afflicted. Oceana was once a booming coal mining capital that became crippled by big corporations coming in and taking over a large portion of the industry which at one time belonged to the people.

The town itself is now in the depths of a full blown epidemic with more prescriptions per capita than any other city in the country by as much as 50%. Here Dunne has done a perfect job of chronicling the daily lives of those who have been hurt most without the slightest hint of judgment being passed.

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