Bethel High School Will Present the Film ‘Chasing the Dragon’ on April 24th, About the Opioid Epidemic Plaguing Connecticut

Report by Paula Antolini
April 21, 2017 2:54PM EDT



Bethel High School Will Present the Film ‘Chasing the Dragon’ on April 24th, About the Opioid Epidemic Plaguing Connecticut


Message from Bethel High School Assistant Principal Mari Lerz:

Special Presentation for Grade 9-10 Students on April 24th:

There is a devastating opioid epidemic that is plaguing Connecticut. Projections for 2016 by the State Medical Examiner indicate that close to 900 people died of accidental drug overdoses in Connecticut. That is almost three times the number of people who died in car accidents last year. Even more devastating is the fact that a majority of these deaths are of young people ages 18 to 25, many of whom developed an addiction to opioids after misusing prescription pills while in their teens or early adolescence. Sports injuries, dental pain and other illnesses are common reasons for the original prescription. Recognizing that law enforcement is only one facet of the solution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is fighting this epidemic on several fronts, including criminal prosecution and outreach to schools for prevention. The office has formed a Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT), which includes parents of local overdose victims, to further assist in this effort.

Since last September, a number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys have partnered with parents of overdose victims, young recovering addicts, FBI, DEA, and local law enforcement to facilitate presentations of the FBI/DEA film Chasing the Dragon at high schools across the State of Connecticut. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has the goal of reaching at least 15,000 students in the state. There is no cost for any of these films or the live presentations. They are provided as a public service for the sole purpose of saving lives. A typical presentation lasts for 1-2 hours, which includes a brief introduction, a showing of Chasing the Dragon, and a panel presentation with Q&A.

Bethel High School will be presenting the film on Monday, April 24th to all Grade 9 and 10 students. For more information about the presentation and the film, please visit the HEAT website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ct/heat and view the U.S. Attorney’s Office short film The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: Stories from Connecticut at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKWr1izNHlo

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the BHS Administration.

Thank you,

Mari Lerz

Assistant Principal

Bethel High School

lerzm@bethel.k12.ct.us Office: (203) 794-8600 Fax: (203) 778-7448




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