‘My Promise to PJ’: A documentary on those left behind from opioid overdose

Published: Jul. 26, 2019 at 7:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Pender County, N.C. (WECT) - Daniel Baldwin, the oldest of the Baldwin brothers that include Alec, Stephen and William, has started his latest documentary on the opioid epidemic in the Cape Fear region.

This is a different story however. It’s not only about the problem itself; it’s about the friends and family left behind to pick up the pieces.

Baldwin is a family friend of Patrick and Barbara Raynor, who’s son died from a heroin overdose after over three years of sobriety. Badwin, a recovered addict himself, played a major role in helping get their son, PJ, sober.

“I felt robbed, I felt this is not the way the script was written by me," said Baldwin. "He finally got it, he had three and a half years sober and then I got a phone call that the first time he went back out and used heroin again it was laced with fentanyl and he overdosed.”

The Raynors say this hasn’t been easy. Life is no longer the same. Their first born is gone.

“I’m a different person now,” Patrick Raynor said. “Not always a good thing when you’re changed by something like this. Never a good thing actually.”

Both Baldwin and the Raynors believe this film will touch a subject that not many take into account until it’s too late.

It’s not only about getting the word out for Baldwin. It also helps him stay sober.

“The service portion of my sobriety in my program is imperative for my staying sober," said Baldwin. "So, another reason I’m doing this film is because unlike the one kid I’m going to take to coffee and take to a meeting and try to help him, I might reach five million people by doing this movie, and that’s part of what keeps me sober.”

Baldwin said the longer a person stays in rehab, the higher chances they have of staying sober for a longer period of time. But, he also pointed out getting sober is the “easy” part; staying sober is the big challenge.

"In Wilmington, because you have such a concentrated problem, when they come back from rehab, they’re thrust with the same people, places, and things that they were around and they don’t have long term sobriety.”

Filming has only recently started and there is no timetable for when it will be released. However, the hope from Patrick and Barbara Raynor, as well as Daniel Baldwin is that “My Promise to PJ” will touch at least one person and change their life.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.