In 2017, the opioid-related overdose crisis killed more than 47,000 people in the United States. Methadone is the best studied and most effective treatment for opioid addiction and is proven to reduce opioid overdose deaths by more than 50 percent. So why is it easier to get heroin than methadone?

Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone, co-directed by Helen Redmond and Marilena Marchetti, shines a spotlight on the closed world of methadone clinics. An international cast of methadone users, activists, and healthcare providers explain the benefits and the barriers to getting the medication. 

The documentary, filmed in six countries—Afghanistan, Britain, India, Portugal, Russia, and the United States—explores the intersection of methadone with race, class, social control, and stigma. This is the first feature-length documentary that uses the lens of harm reduction to examine the methadone clinic system.