UM Student-Produced Documentary to Premiere on MontanaPBS

May 08, 2017

MISSOULA – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Montana issued 82 painkiller prescriptions per 100 people in 2012.

University of Montana students zeroed in on the unintended consequences of these prescriptions – namely, addiction – and produced a 30-minute documentary.

“Montana Rx: Unintended Consequences,” will air on MontanaPBS at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 18. The School of Journalism will premiere the documentary at 5 p.m. Friday, May 12, in the University Center Theater. The screening is free and open to the public.

The program, produced by seniors in UM’s School of Journalism, explores the state’s efforts to combat the prescription drug “epidemic” in both rural Montana and the biggest city in the state.

The documentary takes viewers to Browning, where a grandmother deals with her family’s addictions, and Billings, where a college student’s past tragedy fuels his activism. Along the way, people across Montana show the unintended consequences of prescription drugs and the never-ending fight of some users to stay sober.

Featuring Montana’s specialists working on the front line of the battle to find solutions, the documentary shows what’s working and what’s not to curb prescription addiction in Montana.

For more information call UM journalism Professor Denise Dowling at 406-243-4001or email


Contact: Denise Dowling, associate professor, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4001, .