According to, "In 2017, there were 1,969 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in New Jersey." New Jersey has a 50% higher percentage of overdose deaths than the rest of the country. The state has seen an almost 357% increase in heroin deaths over the past 5 years.

New Jersey filmmakers are shining a light on the issue through the eyes of a little New Jersey girl named Layla. The seven-year-old girl lost her aunt to an overdose and her family is currently struggling with her uncle's addiction.

According to the Life with Layla documentary's Facebook page, "The goal is to erase the stigma behind addiction and raise awareness about the devastating effect this drug has on family, friends, community, health organizations, law enforcement and young adults [and most importantly children in the US]." This is a story told by New Jersey filmmakers.

The film will follow Layla and her family, "With her Uncle Greg's heroin addiction escalating toward the same fate as his sister Melissa, Layla and her Mom attempt to bring him home safely to keep their family from losing another loved one."

Directed by Mike Mee and Ken Spooner; produced by Mee, Spooner, and Steve McCarthy Life with Layla will be debuting the documentary at the Montclair Film Festival on May 4th. Tickets can be purchased here. After the screening there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers, Layla and her mother.

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