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EDUCATION AND PREVENTION: NEW TACTICS TO BATTLE ADDICTION

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration have recently teamed up to create a documentary called Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict. This 45-minute documentary educates viewers about the escalating prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, as well as the dire consequences it is having on individuals and families around the country. In fact, this year, tens of thousands of Americans will die from drug-related deaths, and more than half of these deaths will be from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses, according to Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

The documentary includes first-person accounts of those who have seen the horrors of opioid and heroin addiction, such as drug abusers and their families. These accounts are shared with the hope that others will learn about the destructiveness of these drugs and not go down the same dark path.

In addition to personal stories, there are also multiple interviews included in the documentary, with professionals from the medical and law enforcement fields. This material targets multiple issues related to opiate and heroin abuse, such as the intensity and destructiveness of addiction, as well as drug related crime and the pervasiveness of addiction across families and backgrounds.

Ultimately, through this documentary, the FBI and DEA hope to reach the student and young adult population before they are first exposed to prescription drugs or heroin. This will be done by sending the documentary to school superintendents and encouraging them to show the film in schools and classes around the country. Randy Thysse, a special agent from the Iowa FBI, firmly believes that in order to fight this epidemic head on, all parties need to stay vigilant. He states, “It’s not just [law enforcement..Educators, counselors…everybody has to get involved.”

Submitted by Lloyd Fitzsimmons

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