Students react to the drug awareness video “Chasing the Dragon”


Isaiah Vang, Online Editor

On Tuesday February 28, C.M.Russell had the privilege of being able to show a movie about drug awareness to it’s students. The name of the video was called “Chasing the Dragon” and it was about many drug users telling their story and experiences about using drugs. Since the whole student body couldn’t fit into one room, they were split by class. The freshman and sophomores went to the gym while the juniors and senior went into the auditorium. After the video there were many reactions and comments about the video. Here are some comments from the Stampede staff at CMR.

B — I’m saddened when I see people whose lives have been turned upside down due to their own or a family member’s addiction. I’m so thankful that I have not been impacted by this epidemic.


Katelyn Morley— I learned that prescription drugs usually lead to heroin use. It was sad to see that the drug addiction was so strong that people relapsed so easily. The accounts given by family members showed how hard it was to watch a loved one go through the addiction.


Jessica Banks: Looking at the video and its purpose and its hopeful effectiveness, I thought they did a very good job. Using real life stories made it come across more powerful. The best thing I thought was that it really sent the message that overcoming addictions to opiates is not an easy battle. They really showed this by telling where everyone in the video was now. Seeing that about half or over half of them had relapsed after they made the video was really a powerful aspect.   


McKenzie Connell: “Chasing the Dragon” opened my eyes to the dangers of substance abuse. Hearing the user’s talk about leaving their kids and spouses showed me the power these drugs have over them. I had no idea it was that addictive. Drugs are so damaging, and not just for the user. No one should have to go through the pain of losing family to an overdose.


Quincy Schmechel— “Chasing the Dragon” was an eye-opening documentary about the harsh reality of opioid addiction and abuse. I never knew that opioids were that addictive or accessible, and i think it’s interesting that prescription medication is my generation’s drug of preference. I’ve always known addiction to be a serious and life-affecting issue, but i never knew how painful and life-threatening addiction could be. Our panel of presenters gave fantastic answers to the questions our student body sent in. I hope that increasing awareness and education about these drugs will limit their use and make them far less of an epidemic.


Lexi Bako; The film “Chasing the Dragon” was presented to us today to raise awareness and to inform us on risky behaviors. Since the age five all we’ve been told are the risks of drug use and the dangers of involving yourself with risky people. However, the film did present information personal to Montana, which definitely made an impact on at least one person in that audience.


Ian Kaiser– This film really shed light on an important issue and almost left me reeling. The pain of losing someone to addiction is something that I’ve never had to consider happening in my life, but this video showed that it can happen to anyone. It think it was especially great that they thought to show it to us, because it’s something everyone, especially us younger generations, need to focus on and learn about in order to stop it.


Hannah Pate– Today the students of CMR had the opportunity to watch the FBI video, Chasing the Dragon. This, in my opinion, was long overdue. The opioid problem in Cascade County (and Montana has been escalating quickly. Although many students may have thought the assembly was irrelevant, if those same people asked around they would soon realize that many of us are directly, or indirectly impacted by prescription drug abuse- myself included. It is important that our communities have this discussion, because it reduces stigma and shines light on this issue.


Chloe Geary– Chasing the Dragon was a way to shock kids into not abusing prescription drugs, I’m not sure how effective that approach was but the film made me think. I thought of all the people at CMR who misuse prescription drugs, and I thought of all the people who actually need those drugs and how his issue is complication their lives.


Sarah Ljunggren— I think the film “Chasing the Dragon” was a very good and eye opening film. Most of the people who were on the film started smoking and doing drugs at a very young age, which was very surprising. I think it was a very important film to display to high school students because it was using real life examples, instead of having someone who hasn’t been through it telling us not to do drugs. I hope the film will help students who may be struggling with drug abuse.


Gabrielle Pope– Too often I forget that people live lives like those of the ones in “Chasing the Dragon”. If I’m not directly involved, I pretend like it doesn’t exist so today I had a wake up call, a reality check that was well needed. I realized that people are broken, addiction is a problem that our society faces and we aren’t doing anything to prevent it. I was enlightened and inspired and scared all at the same time; just because it isn’t a problem that I personally face, doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t acknowledge it.  


Clara McClain — The video was a very enlightening and heart wrenching experience. Seeing how prescription drugs can ruin your life is scary and why I’m so afraid of pain medication. I don’t want to end up hooked on opiates because of pain.
Isaiah Vang— When watching the movie “Chasing the Dragon” I was really intrigued and also scared. It’s scary to think that real people in the world are going through their own personal battles with drugs. Every story was different and unique but they all started the same way which was an exposure of drugs. It was a good wake up call to all of us and it helped us be more aware of the dangers of drug use.