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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Friday, August 26, 2016

KNOWDOPE Documentary Showing Sunday at Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival

BIRMINGHAM – A documentary short following two lives in Alabama altered by heroin addiction will screen Sunday during the Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

 Students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, working with UAB Digital Media Director Rosie O’Beirne, produced KNOWDOPE: The Documentary last year as part of a series of public service announcements and the establishment of the larger KNOWDOPE campaign and website, The U.S. Attorney’s Office, as part of the community Pills to Needles Initiative, contracted with UAB’s Digital Media Department to create content for the website that focused on raising awareness and prevention of opiate addiction. KNOWDOPE: The Documentary is a compelling look at one life lost and another irreparably altered by heroin addiction.

The UAB students who worked on the yearlong KNOWDOPE project won Best of Show in February in the student competition for the American Advertising Federation Birmingham Awards, or ADDYs. The students created the KNOWDOPE campaign name and logo, along with the 13-minute documentary and six brief video clip PSAs designed to be shown in area schools as part of drug awareness programs, or shared on social media. The documentary and PSAs, along with information and links to help educate and provide resources on drug abuse and addiction, all can be found on the website. It is critical for the community to understand the path from prescription opiate use and abuse to heroin addiction, and to focus on prevention and treatment opportunities, Vance said.

KNOWDOPE: The Documentary, will be shown Sunday at the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre, 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, during Alabama Documentary Shorts, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:55 p.m. #KNOWDOPE buttons will be available.


            The film’s directors are Matthew Henton and Sarah Buckalew. Run time is 13 minutes.


            “Pills to Needles” is a collaborative initiative begun in 2014 to respond to the sharp spike in heroin deaths in northern Alabama. The initiative, originated thorough the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama in conjunction with key partners including the UAB School of Public Health, the Jefferson County Department of Health and the Addiction Prevention Coalition. Its overarching goals are to create a comprehensive and responsive community infrastructure to address this serious public health issue; develop strategies to reduce the ill-effects of heroin and prescription drug abuse; and give voice to those affected by heroin and prescription drug abuse.



Updated August 26, 2016