Attorney General Loretta Lynch designated the week of September 19, 2016, as National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week. Throughout the week, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida joined law enforcement partners, local community stakeholders, public health professionals, and high school students to raise awareness and colloborate on ways to help combat this growing epidemic. Events included a special meeting of the Hillsborough Ex-Offender Reentry Network (HERN), a community forum in Manatee County, a visit to Jefferson High School in Tampa, and a special presentation at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Each event included a viewing of Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, a collaboratively produced documentary by the FBI and DEA to help educate students and young adults about the dangers of opioid addiction. The 45-minute film, whose title refers to the never-ending pursuit of the original or ultimate high, features stark first-person accounts, as told by individuals who have abused opioids or whose children have abused the drugs, with tragic consequences.
The video, Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, can be found on either the FBI or DEA websites using the following links:
The rise of heroin use and the abuse of prescription opioids in the United States is currently a huge challenge to public health and safety. It threatens our communities, families, and children. The Department of Justice has compiled additional resources to assist in combatting the heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drug problems in the United States. They can be found at: https://www.justice.gov/opioidawareness.