GETTING HIGH reveals how our society’s bitter conflicts about the “War on Drugs” arise from our personal histories.

When his son is arrested for possessing drugs for sale, Victor Silverman’s initial reaction is to sign up for the war on drugs–despite being from the counterculture. Yet as he explores the issue in conversation with members of both Houses of Congress, people in recovery, activists, law enforcement, and treatment experts, he learns how personal experiences contribute to our country’s crisis of aggressive law enforcement and overcrowded prisons.

GETTING HIGH reaches across political, social, and emotional barriers: We see an America simultaneously drawn to and repelled by mind-altering substances, a place of profound divisions where millions struggle with addiction but have few alternatives for help without long-lasting criminal sanctions. The film probes into what works and what is wrong with court-mandated drug treatment.

The US is at a turning point in dealing with crime, prisons, and drugs. This film can help our country find a better way to deal with compulsive substance use, one where needed drug and prison reform won’t simply mean abandoning addicts to their fates. The combination of personal voice and more traditional interviews weaves individual stories into a broader social, historical and political fabric. This combination allows viewers to understand viscerally and intellectually the need for alternative forms of intervention.

Emmy winning filmmaker and historian Victor Silverman has created a deeply personal yet politically compelling film.