Rescue Breath

In the heart of the opioid epidemic, a group of young men attempt to rebuild their lives after years of abuse, poverty, and drug use. “Rescue Breath” showcases the struggle, strength, and determination that it takes to overcome addiction - and lays bare the internal conflict of recovery.

Attempting to break the cycle of generational addiction, young men reclaim their lives, their children’s futures, and mend broken relationships. They let go of painful pasts as they live in the present, tend to crops and animals, and build a new community. “Rescue Breath” details the struggles of facing not only addiction, but of generational poverty in a region with a limited resources, and lays bare the internal conflict of overcoming addiction. “Rescue Breath” follows the stories of the first residents at Jacob’s Ladder, a rehabilitation center in Aurora, West Virginia founded by Dr. Kevin Blankenship. After his son holds up a bank while high on heroin, Dr. Blankenship discovers a shocking shortage of recovery beds in the U.S., the failure of the insurance-driven 30-day treatment cycle, and the minuscule success rate of existing treatments. These bleak realities drive Kevin to help other families avoid these same obstacles and pain. With unrestricted access to the story as it unfolds, the feature-length documentary follows the residents during and after rehab. The stories include Jeff, an ex-coal miner who needs to get clean to regain custody of his two young daughters from the state, and Rush, a Floridian who has been in and out of more than a dozen rehabs and is searching for his last chance at life.

Production team