HELENA – It’s been called an epidemic and a crisis; the Centers for Disease Control says an average of 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
In 2016 the FBI, along with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, released a documentary titled ‘Chasing the Dragon- The life of an opioid addict’.
The film chronicles a few people through their addiction, and sheds light on what law enforcement is doing about the problem.
The Helena Education Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana are sponsoring a free viewing of the documentary Thursday evening.
Danny David, an investigator with the Missouri River Drug Task Force, says the film is about prevention, and allows everyone to see the impacts opioids can have on a community.
Detective Sargent at the Helena Police Department and Investigator with the Missouri River Drug Task Force Danny David said, “We are in a drug crisis right now, I mean the whole state of Montana. Opiates and heroin are here, and a lot of people don’t know they are here. So we are trying to spread awareness and educate as well. It’s very raw, very real and I think that’s why we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it is because it’s real people.”
The screening of Chasing the Dragon begins at 7 p.m. followed by a confidential Q & A session with a panel of experts, including Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, addiction counselors and others.
David said audience members will be able to text their questions to a phone, ensuring the anonymity of anyone who wants to learn more about the topic.
The doors open at 6 p.m. at the Helena Middle School auditorium, and the event is free to the public.
David wanted to thank the Helena Education Foundation along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana for helping make this event happen.
“I would also like to thank Lisa Cordingly, John Doran, Principals Steve Thennis and Brett Zanto and all of the panelists that believed in this message and took time out of their busy schedules to make this even a reality. Special thanks to Jennifer McCluskey and Madi Bryant for having the courage to step up and share their stories.”