As you have heard in the news, opiate addiction has become a major concern in Hamilton County. There is a prevalent thought that heroin addiction is an urban problem or a rural America problem. The fact of the matter is that opiate/heroin addiction is a Hamilton County problem. The drug knows no socio-economic level or neighborhood or school. EVERYONE is at risk. In an effort to educate our students about the dangers of opiate addiction, we will be showing the FBI produced documentary, Chasing the Dragon. The purpose of the film is to raise awareness of the dangers of drug abuse and the life-long consequences of becoming involved with opioids. The film follows people who have been directly impacted by addiction. We have been working with Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco’s office to bring together the film and a panel of experts in the field of addiction. The panel is slated to include Dr. Sammarco, Hamilton County Coroner; Brian Goodyear, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Juvenile Division, Hamilton County; Sarah Smith, Director of Start Talking! For Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Chief Chuck Schlie, Indian Hill Rangers; and Doug Eisele, parent.
Our plan for showing the documentary is as follows:
Students will view the video in homeroom at 9:00. During homeroom, students will be provided a link so they can submit questions about the film anonymously. Staff members will go through the submitted questions for appropriateness to the topic.
After the showing of the video, students will move to the auditorium, where the panel will spend approximately 45 minutes answering the questions submitted by students. At approximately 10:45, students will return to class.
How parents can help: I have provided you a link to the Documentary here. Please feel free to watch the film prior to your child seeing it at school and begin to have conversations at home about making safe choices. We will also offer a viewing for parents in our MP room at the same time the students are seeing the movie in homeroom. We will reserve one of the balconies for parents to join us for the panel. Please RSVP here We want to make sure we have space to accommodate all who wish to attend. Additionally, we will provide the link to submit questions to parents who attend the presentation. The questions will not be identified as parent questions and will also be submitted anonymously.
Things to consider: The film includes strong language. We will be showing the version of the film that has the language “fuzzed out”, however; there is no mistaking what various people are saying. Additionally, there are several graphic images of drug abuse and some very intense content. If you would like to opt your child out of this experience, please contact your child’s counselor. As stated earlier, there are many misconceptions about opiate addiction. The film shares the following statistics (nationally):
- Approximately one in five high school seniors reports misusing prescription drugs.
- A 2014 national survey found an estimated 1.4 million people in the U.S. abused a prescription painkiller for the first time that year.
- Most first time abusers of painkillers obtain them from a friend or relative.
- Nearly all people who use heroin also use at least one other drug.
- People who take prescription painkillers can be addicted with just one prescription.
Some discussion questions to help you engage with your child on the documentary and topic:
- What influence did friends have on the interviewee’s use of drugs?
- What did you learn about how fast someone can become addicted?
- How did the people in the film describe their daily routine as an addict?
- Why did people switch from prescription painkillers to using heroin?
- What are the refusal strategies when feeling peer pressure to use?
- Talk about strategies to use if your child has a friend who needs help.
If you have additional questions regarding this program, please contact me.
Karen Bare, Interim Principal | Karen.Bare@indianhillschools.org | 513.272.4550
Kristi Otten, Assistant Principal | Kristi.Otten@indianhillschools.org | 513.272.4550
Main office: 513.272.4550
Attendance line: 513.272.4705
We are and always will be BRAVES