West Haven High showing movie all week highlighting the dangers of opioids

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The opioid epidemic hits communities statewide and that’s why West Haven High School’s principal says they’re taking a proactive approach by showing the movie, “Chasing the Dragon”.

The FBI put together the documentary showing the dangers of opioids by following three addicts.

“I’ve talked about it with my parents and I would never do it,” said West Haven High School sophomore Nikki Poirier.

West Haven High School Principal Pamela Gardner says many high schools are showing this movie statewide.

“It’s a message teenagers need to hear because teenagers believe they’re invincible. They believe they can try anything and it’s not going to stick,” said Gardner.

That’s because she says it only takes one time to become an addict. It’s a problem that impacts all income levels

“I think if you talk to most young people, they will know someone that’s a user or possibly an abuser or experiments with it or uses drugs recreationally,” sad Gardner.

While she says they don’t have a problem at the High School, it is something city first responders see. West Haven Deputy Fire Chief Scott Schwartz says on average his crews see 3 overdoses a week and sometimes it can be as high as 2 or 3 a day especially when heroin gets mixed with something more potent.

“Seeing it on a daily basis or a couple times a week now. It’s very tough on the guys. They’ll do CPR if they have to, but if the NARCAN is not working it can lead to a bad outcome,” said Deputy Chief Schwartz.

Poirier doesn’t think it’s in her high school hallways, but she as advice for anyone facing peer pressure.

“Not to follow in other’s footsteps that make bad decisions,” said Poirier.

The high school plans on showing this movie at 9:55 in the morning everyday this week and they encourage parents and community members to attend as addiction hits all ages.

If you’d like to watch the documentary or show it to your kids, you can find it here:

https://www.justthinktwice.gov/video-chasing-dragon-life-opiate-addict

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