The FBI’s heroin warning to NJ high school students
The FBI is traveling to different high schools across the Garden State.
Instead of carrying guns or a search warrant, they’re armed with a video called "Chasing the Dragon," which looks at the dangers associated with the heroin and opiate epidemic.
“We’re showing it to high school students, educators, school resource officers, to educate them to the dangers of opiate abuse and to prevent them from engaging in this conduct,” said Timothy Gallagher, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark Division.
The FBI in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency has produced the video, which was shown last week to hundreds of students at Absegami High School in Galloway, and will be shown at other schools in the coming weeks and months all over New Jersey.
“We’re looking to get up in front of students and parents wherever we can. Opiate abuse is something that has been spiking,” Gallagher said.
FBI and DEA heroin seizures have quadrupled in the past four years but there have been more than 46,000 opiate related overdose deaths across the country.
“We’re seeking to reduce the amount of heroin that comes into this country by dismantling the networks, drug trafficking organizations and the street gangs that distribute it, but we’re also seeking to raise awareness to the dangers of opiate abuse, whether that be prescription drugs or heroin, through videos such as this,” he said. “We can’t arrest our way out of this problem so we’re doing our best to prevent deaths.”
He said the video features users and family members and demonstrates how destructive these drugs can be.
“The idea behind it is to get the students to reflect as to how this could impact their lives, what it could do to them, and hopefully steer them away from ever getting hooked on these substances,” he said. “Heroin and opiate abuse cuts across socio-economic groups. It knows no boundaries. It’s just a flat-out killer.”
Gallagher noted there are many gateways that lead to heroin use, whether it be through prescription drug opiates that are given by a doctor, or through the use of some other drug.
“We’re getting in front of students, not because we’re teaching them to pass a test, but we’re getting out there to give them information that can hopefully save their lives,” he said.
Chasing the Dragon is available in its entirety at the FBI's site.