Dixie State University to host film screening, discussion on opioid use

ST. GEORGE, Utah — To raise awareness of the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the nation, Dixie State University is partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to screen “Chasing the Dragon,” a documentary that tells the life story of an opiate addict. A panel discussion with law enforcement and treatment providers will immediately follow the screening.

The event, hosted by DSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is set to take place at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the Eccles Mainstage Theater on the Dixie State campus. Admission is free and the community is encouraged to attend.

Produced by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the film highlights the dangers of addiction, a serious problem in the U.S. A drug overdose occurs every 12 minutes and 79 people die each day from prescription painkillers and heroin.

“Those who have watched friends and loved ones struggle with opioid addiction know all too well that prison and death are real risks. Recovery is possible, though hard-fought,” Lindsey Bonney, re-entry & community outreach coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, said. “Utah has a high rate of prescription drug use and abuse, which is feeding an increased demand for cheap heroin and synthetic opioids. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah is committed to prosecuting opioid-related crimes and preventing drug abuse and addiction.”

Immediately following the screening, a panel of experts will lead a discussion on this epidemic and what loved ones can do to help individuals who are battling addiction. The panel will be comprised of Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Bell, Brad Cox from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chief Jim Keith with the Washington City Police Department, Captain Kyle Whitehead with the St. George Police Department, and DSU Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Lish Harris.

To learn more about “Chasing the Dragon,” go to www.dea.gov/media/chasing-dragon.shtml. For information about Dixie State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit academics.dixie.edu/humanities-social-sciences.

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