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Wednesday March 8, 2017 at 8:21pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: High School, District


Minisink Valley High School members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will lead an opioid awareness event on Thursday, March 9 with the screening of “78," a student-produced film titled after the number of American lives claimed by opioid overdoses each day, in 2014. 

The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium and be followed by facilitated group discussions. 

The devastation of opioid-related deaths is being compared to that of the H.I.V epidemic when it peaked in the early 1990’s. While past drug epidemics plagued mostly urban areas, opioid abuse is equally prevalent in rural America. According to Orange County’s department of health and the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC), prescription opioids alone claimed 19 lives in Orange County in 2014, compare to 8 in 2013. 

MVHS SADD produced “78” in the 2015-16 academic year. They based it largely on interviews with adults whose lives were vastly affected by substance abuse, beginning in adolescence. Among interviewees is a Minisink Valley bus driver who lost her son to an overdose. Other film content involves excerpts from essays students wrote in their English classes.  


“This film has had a huge impact on the kids of our school, and I'm so hopeful to see it being presented to parents around the Orange County community,” said Nicholas Mikulski, a junior and vice president of SADD. “My wish is that the film and the discussion will open the eyes of parents with younger kids to make sure this doesn't happen to them.” 

The students’ film was produced with support from ADAC and the Orange County Youth Bureau. ADAC executive director, Jim Conklin, and Commissioner of Mental Health and Social Services, Darcie Miller, will attend. The March 9 event is co-sponsored by the Parent Teacher Organization of Minsink Valley High School.