ECU sponsors screening, discussion of ‘Tipping the Pain Scale’

Published 4:38 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

East Carolina University is sponsoring a virtual screening and discussion of “Tipping the Pain Scale,” a film that explores the systems that have been ineffective in curbing the opioid epidemic and the solutions addiction professionals have started to implement. The screening is 2 p.m. Tuesday with discussion following at 4 p.m.

Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC), along with the University Systems of N.C., the Independent Colleges and Universities, and the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, is hosting the screening as part of a series of free events across the state. After each screening, experts from the field will engage in discussion about how policies and services can be changed to better address the opioid and overdose crisis in North Carolina and the needs of their specific region. The purpose is to facilitate meaningful discussion that focuses on solutions that will move the field forward and affect lasting change in the state. The events are free and virtual for all attendees.

“‘Tipping the Pain Scale’ not only tells the stories of people affected by addiction, but it shows where the current systems break down and fall short of helping so many people in need. These conversations are especially critical now with the dual pandemics of addiction and COVID-19 and the dramatic increases in deaths of despair. We must reframe how we are approaching how we care for people, our frontline behavioral health workers, and the systems that govern and lead these services,” said Sarah Potter, executive director of APNC. “In the wake of the pandemic, the addiction and overdose crisis has devastatingly worsened, seeing over 100,000 deaths in a 12-month period for the first time.

“Policies continue to fall short of addressing the needs of the field and those in need of treatment. COVID-19 has increased awareness of mental health and addiction enough to secure more funding in these areas, but without updated policies and a better system through which to distribute the funds, no large-scale change can happen. At APNC, we are building connections, through free events like this, to allow legislators to hear directly from those they serve and those providing direct services in the field. These connections will lead to meaningful and honest conversation, which will hopefully lead to impactful change.”

APNC is the only North Carolina professional membership organization with a legislative voice that advocates exclusively on behalf of addiction professionals, organizations and the communities they serve. Through community partnerships in the areas of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery, members tell APNC what they see in their communities, and APNC ensures this information is made available to legislators and state officials.

For more information, visit To register, visit