James Wahlberg is a Boston Man Stopping the Cycle of Addiction

Mark Wahlberg Executive Director James Wahlberg was featured in the latest issue of Boston Man magazine. Jim was profiled for his work fighting addiction with his films and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.


Jim Wahlberg has a gift to give.  He’s accustomed to it by now, as much a compulsion – this giving – as a voluntary act. It’s a necessary part of him after thirty years.  Last July, at a crowded theater in Manchester, NH, Wahlberg premiered his latest film, The Circle of Addiction: A Different Kind of Tears, to an assemblage of nearly 300 people – first responders, people in recovery and nearly fifty parents who’ve lost children to overdose.  Shot in Manchester on a shoestring budget of $150,000 – a pittance compared to the budgets of his younger brother Mark Wahlberg’s Hollywood blockbusters – Jim’s latest work allows the elder Wahlberg to educate others about the dangers of opioids.

It’s a lesson ripe for the teaching.

“Our mission (Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation) is to start a conversation between young people and anyone who has influence over young people, so parents, teachers, guidance counselors, clergy,” said Wahlberg who, since 2012, has made six small independent films on the topic of addiction.  He notes that parents are quick to teach their children about certain dangers from their earliest years – talking to strangers, wandering off, playing with matches – and feels opioids should be on that short list.  “We can’t wait until [kids] figure it out on their own because then it’s too late.”

Jim Wahlberg - Executive Director of Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation - photo by Jamie Dunek