The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has created a documentary this week that illustrates the toll of opiate addiction, The Kansas City Star reports. The film, called “Chasing the Dragon,” will be distributed to school districts nationwide and can be downloaded for free.
High school students are a principal target audience of the film. The documentary is designed to send a message of deterrence to young people thinking of trying drugs, or who are just starting to use them.
The film features several people who either abused opiates or had family members who did so. Those who abused opiates explain how they began with prescription drugs. They describe how they devoted themselves to trying to maintain the initial high, and how they stole from or lied to friends and family members in an attempt to pay for their addiction.
Among 46,000 drug overdoses counted nationwide in 2015, about half could be traced to heroin and prescription drug abuse, according to FBI Public Affairs Advisor Michael Kulstad.
The 45-minute film, made in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, also includes interviews with medical and law enforcement professionals. They talk about the effects of addiction and the unique aspects of the opiate epidemic in the United States.
“This epidemic does not discriminate; All across this country, it is taking good people from good homes and leading them down a trail that often ends in pain and sadness,” FBI Director James Comey said in a news release. “This film may be difficult to watch, but we hope it educates our students and young adults about the tragic consequences that come with abusing these drugs and that it will cause people to think twice before becoming its next victim.”