Circles and Silence
Nominated for five Emmy Awards, Circles and Silence is a remarkable sixteen minute film narrated by a diverse group of young adults whose personal true-life stories are mirror images of topics that impact every person who watches the film: Opioids. Addiction. Treatment. Recovery. Life.
As we follow Jessica, Mirasia, Meko, Shannon, Megan, Andrade and Anna Bess on their individual life journeys, we learn that no two person’s Circle of life is the same. Except that we must not sit in Silence.
Watch the Trailers
Meet the Cast
Jessica is the Choir Coordinator at Teen Challenge Rhode Island women’s home where she “work[s] with ladies that battle the very thing I did. I am so privileged to be a part of the organization that brought me to God and has saved my Life.”
Mirasia has overcome a long term substance use disorder, today helps other women who have struggled with substance use at Teen Challenge Rhode Island, a faith-based long-term recovery program. She uses her music to help people who are struggling to help them overcome their life controlling issues. “We do overcome!”
Meko, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist at Amos House, has been living in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder for more than 4 years. He is pursuing a career in social work with a concentration on working with prisoners who suffer with substance use disorder. “To believe a person can recover when they are unaware of their own potential, is profoundly humanizing.” The hope that this truth creates is the foundation to Meko’s life’s work.
Shannon, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a mom to a Pitbull, is a Peer Recovery Specialist at Anchor Recovery Community Center. “Although I am a person with substance use disorder that does not define me. My true self cannot be labeled or fit in any box. One’s past does not define one’s present moment or future.”
Megan, now in long term recovery having had her life unravel from her use of marijuana and alcohol which led to her addiction to opioids and “a life of hopelessness, pain, misery and despair.” Today, Megan is a certified peer recovery specialist and assistant manager of Mobile Outreach Recovery Efforts, supporting individuals affected by substance use disorder.
Ana Bess is a drama therapist who has worked primarily with trauma, grief, and addiction, and is the founder and Executive Director of COAAST, a RI based non-profit, with the mission to eradicate the opioid epidemic through arts-based, educational, therapeutic, and community-driven approaches. She is a playwright with two touring plays.
Andrade grew up seeing a rogue life style lived by some with money, fancy cars, and jewelry. He accepted their way of life. His choices and actions landed him in jail. Today he is serving a 20-year sentence in prison for supplying fentanyl that lead to a lethal drug overdose.
Sue & Kristen After her daughter Kristen’s death at the age of 29, from a lethal fentanyl drug overdose, Sue Coutu fought to memorialize her daughter and protect others through legislation. Four years after Kristen’s death Sue’s fight was won when “Kristen’s Law” was passed.
“Kristen’s Law” gives judges the option to send dealers to prison for life if they supply a user with an illegal drug that causes a fatal overdose death.
The United States Attorney's Office Circles and Silence program is dedicated to Kristen Couto and to those loved, lost and still coping with substance abuse disorder.
Schedule a Presentation
The United States Attorney's Community Outreach Office is available to provide the Circles and Silence program to all Rhode Island schools and students grades 7-12, colleges, 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 Community Engagement & Crime Prevention Coordinator David Neill at (401) 709-5035 or at David.Neill@USDOJ.gov.
Many resources are available for those coping with substance abuse disorder, and for those who love and support them. Please click the link below. Help is on the way.