Opioids Epidemic: How I Became A Heroin Addict
This item is included in the following series/curriculum: Substance Abuse Prevention Curriculum Essential Health: A High School Print/Video Curriculum
Running Time: 22 Minutes
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The CDC reports 28,000+ overdose deaths this year from opioids overdose. It is very clear that America is in the grip of a serious opioids epidemic. This video and print package looks at the opioids epidemic through the eyes of four recovering young addicts: Jesse, Peter, Cindy, and Sam. By sharing their stories, viewers will learn how easy it is to transition from prescription painkillers to shooting up heroin. The young users talk about the devastating personal toll of their addiction and its impact on their families and their communities. They also talk about hope—hope to not use again, hope to get through the pain of detox, and the hope of a better, sober life ahead.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
DVD contains Spanish subtitles.
The Opioids Epidemic: How I Became a Heroin Addict
Gr 7 Up- Teens share war stories involving drugs, often explaining exactly what they’ve been through. They’re the fortunate ones, when compared to the 10,500 people who fatally overdosed on heroin in 2015. Even so, as one young woman observes, the emotional and physical memories of the high remain scarily vivid, even years later, reinforcing the necessity for daily vigilance in recovery. Graphics of brain function and statistics are blended with comments by experts who point out the main reason why teens turn to heroin so often – a prescription pill habit can quickly escalate upward of $1,500 a month, while a bag of heroin is as cheap as three dollars. The recovering teens do a great job of describing how addiction quickly erodes that “I’d never do hard drugs” mentality when severe withdrawal sets in. As one spokesperson states, “Addiction drives people to step out of character.” While it might not change the minds of teens already in the grip of addiction, the program may have an impact on their friends and those who are in the early stages of abusing pain medications. VERDICT This is an excellent addition to a library or school collection where addiction is taken seriously. – John R. Clark, formerly at Harland Public Library, ME
School Libray Journal
Epidemic Addiction to opioids (a relatively new phenomenon, although the word “opioid” actually dates from the 1950s) is the subject of this cautionary guidance program focusing on substances that attach to the opiate receptors of the brain, including heroin, oxycodone, Percocet, and Fentanyl (which is here stated to have killed rock star Prince). Combining illustrative graphics with expert commentary from Tom Janette of the Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, clinical social worker Frank L. Greenagle Jr., and Michelle Lipinsky, director of Massachusetts’s Northshore Recovery High School, much of the running time here is devoted to reminiscences by younger users in recovery, either speaking alone, in group settings, or with shadowed faces. Although hampered by some lame dramatic recreations (fake throwing up?), these are heart-wrenching stories about initially getting hooked, the lengths that addicts went to stay high, and the subsequent physical, financial, and relationship tolls they paid. Also featuring a PDF teacher’s guide, this honest look at a serious American epidemic is recommended. Aud: H, C, P. (J. Williams-Wood)