The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

April 25, 2013

Documentary sheds light on prescription pill crisis in W.Va.

With three screenings down and two more to go, the documentary “Oxyana” is already receiving rave reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival.  

“Oxyana,” a film that highlights Oceana and the prescription pill epidemic, is being called “gripping” and a “festival standout.”

Morgan Davies, a PolicyMic writer, said this documentary goes beyond the town of Oceana, highlighting “the crisis of West Virginia as a state, of Appalachia as a region, and of small-town America as a way of life.”

In her review, she not only addressed the social impact of the film, but also the political one.

“The world has moved on from coal as an energy source,” she writes, “and neither the federal nor the state governments have seen fit to do much of anything to rehabilitate the areas suffering from that change, Oceana among them.

“Because of the lack of job opportunities, as well as the ever-growing drug problem, these folks simply do not have the ability to generate savings or make investments.

“This is hardly a problem unique to Oceana, but the particular situation there makes it a compelling case study of the cycle of poverty that plagues the American lower class,” Davies said.

John DeFore, a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, said the documentary offers no narration or titles, but simply “lets these young men and women speak and leaves us to hear them without judging.”

He said the Oceana residents shown in the film range from an addict, to a struggling mother, to a dealer, to a doctor—who said he sees a death by overdose every day, not even counting those who are dead at home before EMS arrives.  

DeFore said the film is “superbly put-together,” with “excellent photography” and “on-target” music.

Amy Grey, Oxyana press contact, said no distribution plans have been set yet, but additional film festivals and theater screenings could be possible. To stay updated on the latest, visit

— E-mail:


Text Only
Local News
  • derby dames Beckley area Derby Dames to host WFTDA team Aug. 9

    The Beckley Area Derby Dames will face off against a WFTDA-certified team, the Harrisonburg, Va., Rocktown Rollers, Aug. 9 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • phil roop Artisans show off skills at String Band Festival

    The Appalachian String Band Festival celebrates the music of the mountains each year.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Calendar — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

    August 1, 2014

  • VA clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    August 1, 2014

  • Beckley festival seeking vendors

    Taste of Appalachia is seeking restaurants, vendors, organizations and churches to participate in the Aug. 23 event. 

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 FRI TWV multitalented teen.jpg Only 13, Shady Spring and TWV teen has big resume

    Well-rounded is an understatement for 13-year-old Rachel McNeel. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 ST.FrancisTeens.jpg Rummage sale to help teens attend WYD

    Young people at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church will be sponsoring a rummage sale at the church today and Saturday. The sale will help raise money to send the young folks to World Youth Day in Poland to meet Pope Francis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tamarack lists weekend events

    Tamarack Events Director Kelly Elkins invites everyone to pay a visit to the Best of West Virginia this weekend for free music, a farmer’s market and live artisan demonstrations. 

    August 1, 2014

  • New River CTC celebrates move to new campus

    New River Community and Technical College personnel greeted new neighbors Thursday with cookies and lemonade as furniture was moved into their institution’s new Mercer Street campus in the former First Community Bank building.

    August 1, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014