HUNTINGTON – Last week, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, joined by Huntington Police Department Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook met with students and faculty at Huntington Middle School to launch a film and Facebook page designed to educate young people about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
“Prescription drug abuse has been like no other drug problem we’ve ever faced,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “The biggest problem in this district is legal drugs.”
Goodwin continued, “For many people, especially adolescents, the road to addiction starts with pills they find in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. We’ve seen time and again that when people begin experimenting with pills, they eventually move to cheaper alternatives, like heroin, to feed their addiction.”
Goodwin said that building relationships between the law enforcement and education communities is essential toward strengthening prevention efforts. “We commissioned this film in an effort to get students’ attention. They must understand that prescription pill abuse has real consequences. It can send a person’s life into a downward spiral in the blink of an eye,” Goodwin said.
The educational film, known as “E.O.D. Equal Opportunity Destroyer” or “E.O.D.,” was developed through a partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and the Huntington Police Department. It was funded by a grant from the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services. The 17-minute film features the true stories of a West Virginia father and a young woman whose lives have been tremendously altered by prescription drug abuse.
Goodwin debuted the E.O.D. film during a statewide education conference at the Charleston Civic Center in June. Since then, Goodwin has shown the film at schools and professional conferences throughout the state, in an effort to educate the public about the dangers associated with prescription pill abuse.
Goodwin said, “We hope people will see this film and decide to share it. They can do so through the web site: www.wvsafeschools.org and now on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EODWV.”
“Opiate abuse transcends all of society; it does not discriminate,” Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook said. “This issue is absolutely the most pressing law enforcement and public health issue facing our community. We’ve seen the tragic results of opiate addiction at an alarming rate.”
Holbrook continued, “We’ve seen a number of overdoses in just the last few weeks. Our community is still mourning the death of three young adults. Each overdose call is like a punch in the gut for me — it breaks my heart.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers. In 2010, one in 20 people in the United States (age 12 or older) reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons. West Virginia has maintained one of the nation’s highest drug overdose death rates. Most of the overdoses have involved prescription painkillers.
The official E.O.D. video can also be viewed on You Tube by clicking the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3jN6atZ44