FBI Knoxville screening film on opioid addiction

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is hosting a screening of a film Tuesday night on opiate addiction.

“Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. at the Knox County Health Department Auditorium, The film will be introduced by Knoxville FBI Special Agent in Charge Renae McDermott and will be followed by a discussion with Karen Pershing, executive director of the Metro Drug Coalition.

The film was produced by the FBI and the DEA to educate students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. The event is open to the public and free parking is available. The MDC warns parents the film includes strong language and graphic images.

The Metro Drug Coalition hopes the film will serve as a conversation starter for families.

“We really want people to ask those questions and have discussion and dialogue about the problem and the epidemic we are seeing here in our community. This is the perfect opportunity for parents to start engaging in conversation with their teens if they’ve never done that before,” said Deborah Crouse.

Crouse is a project director with the Metro Drug Coalition and says the film may encourage people to get help if they are in addiction.

“You have a mom who has lost someone, a woman who has went to prostitution to start getting money for her drug addiction and also just a teen who started using drugs with friends and smoking marijuana and drinking and it led into a heroin addiction,” said Crouse.

She says there is help for those suffering from a drug addiction.

“The Tennessee Redline is a 24 hour a day 7 days a week hotline provided by the department of health and what this Redline is someone could call, they are going to be able to help them break down what type of treatment they need,” said Crouse.

Crouse says, for example, you can ask where to go if you don’t have insurance or be given information on inpatient or outpatient facilities available in the area.

“There are lots of different tips for parents to engage in conversation about substance abuse starting at toddler age going all the way up to young adults,” said Crouse.

Officials say help is available for those in need of treatment for opiate addiction. Contact the Metro Drug Coalition at (865) 588-5550 or online at www.metrodrug.org. You can also call the Tennessee Redline at 1-800-889-9789.

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