An opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic is sweeping the country, impacting all segments of society. To help raise awareness of this epidemic and to help educate young people on the dangers of addiction, the FBI and DEA have released the documentary Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, a compilation of heart-wrenching first-person accounts by addicts and family members of addicts about their experiences.
(students walking and talking in hallway)
FBI Director James Comey: Hi, I’m Jim Comey. I’m the director of the FBI.
Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg: I’m Chuck Rosenberg. I run the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Rosenberg: Each year more than 46,000 people die from a drug overdose. That’s more people than die from car accidents or from gun violence, and half of those 46,000 deaths are related to opioid abuse.
Comey: We thought the best approach would be to let you hear the truth. No filter. No censors. Just the straight facts from people who have lived with the hard consequences of opioid abuse. You’re going to watch unscripted interviews that include some raw emotion and some profanity. You are going to witness real tragedy and learn what happens when drugs take hold of real people and don’t let go. You will see that those whose lives are taken over by drug addiction are often kids from stable homes with strong families—good people who had great childhoods, were given everything they wanted, and had everything going for them. But they took one wrong turn and they were hooked. And once you’re hooked, it is so very hard to get off these drugs and the spiral down is so quick.
Rosenberg: After you watch this film, we want you to talk about it. We want you to talk to your parents, to your relatives, to your friends, to your brothers and sisters. If you know somebody who is using drugs or even thinking about using drugs, say something.
Comey: You are going to see that once the addiction starts it is often too late. By telling somebody, you could be saving a life.
Julia: I didn’t care. I didn’t think about it. I just did it. Once we started getting high, it was done.
Trish: She was 17 years old and the only way I knew about it is because she was arrested.
Sarah: Started smoking pot around 18. And I was always offered prescription drugs and I never would take them. Then I was in a car accident.