Opioid addiction has become a critical problem in America today. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 1, 2016, revealed that over 47,000 people died due to drug overdose in 2015. The United States Attorneys and various law enforcement agencies, are working together to address the problem of prescription drug and heroin abuse in the country. In one such innovative effort to overcome the epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a 45-minute documentary Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on February 6, 2016.
The documentary, unveiled before educational leaders from the Washington D.C. metro area, profiles individuals who had abused opioids. It aims to spread awareness among youth about the devastating effects of addiction and the need to discourage prescription drug and heroin abuse.
Discouraging drug abuse
The documentary shared sad stories of scores of families that had to deal with the problem of drug abuse. Emphasizing on the ill effects of substance abuse, the documentary features interviews with medical and law enforcement professionals who speak about the addiction plague. The short film aims at discouraging any thoughts of trying drugs, even for the purpose of amusement. The film is being distributed to educators free of cost to be included in the curriculum.
Discussing the need for imparting the necessary information about opiates and other psychedelic drugs, FBI Director James Comey said, “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. 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.”
The acting DEA Administrator, Chuck Rosenberg, said, “The numbers are appalling and shocking—tens of thousands of Americans will die this year from drug-related deaths and more than half of these deaths are from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses.”
Alarming number of drug overdose deaths
According to the MMWR report, the number of deaths attributed to opioid abuse increased by 14 percent from 2013 to 2014, while deaths from heroin abuse increased fourfold from 2002 to 2013. The CDC also revealed that since 2000, drug overdose deaths have increased by 137 percent, including a 200 percent surge in death rate due to opioid abuse.
Rosenberg said, “You will see in Chasing the Dragon opioid abusers that have travelled a remarkably dangerous and self-destructive path. I hope this will be a wakeup call for folks. Please pay close attention to this horrific epidemic. Help reverse it. Save a life. Save a friend. Save a loved one.”
In his financial year 2017 Budget submitted to Congress, President Barack Obama spared $1 billion to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.
Looking for recovery
In the U.S., drug overdoses are claiming more lives than traffic accidents. It is time to say no to drugs. If you or your loved one is struggling to get rid of addiction, the Sovereign Health Group is more than willing to help. You may call our 24/7 helpline at 855-683-9756 or chat online with one of our representatives for immediate help. We offer the best treatment for various addictions through proper detoxification and recovery plan depending on each individual’s needs.