Chasing Life

62 min. Dreamscape. 2018. $24.99. ISBN 818506023276.
Gr 9 Up—Three years after the documentary Chasing It examined the havoc opiate addiction is causing across the country, comes a new story, one of hope. It features residents of St. Christopher's Inn in Garrison, NY, a drop-in clubhouse and equine therapy center. Katie discusses her descent into addiction, the loss of her close friend Chris, and what it took to get her to take recovery seriously. Several young men who are current or former residents are equally frank about the hopelessness that filled their lives, what happened, and how they look at themselves now. The equine therapist and a social worker speak eloquently and at length about how structured work with horses has led to faster and more lasting results in younger addicts and trauma victims. There are some potent and frank statements offered here: "I can't love someone else unless I love myself," and "It's a full-time job, sobriety." Likewise, the candidness of each recovering person is powerful and heartening. Viewers cannot but feel moved by the bricks in a wall outside St. Christopher's, memorializing those who have lost their battle with addiction.
VERDICT A well-done and heartfelt look at the personal toll of addiction and what recovery for younger people involves. Good for starting a discussion and suitable for high school and public library collections.

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