SoCal Connected producers and crew drove to Laguna Niguel for the premiere of a documentary called "Overtaken," which focuses on prescription drug abuse in affluent Orange County. Two local mothers, Jodi Barber and Christine Brant, got the idea for the film after Barber’s nineteen-year-old son Jarrod died from an overdose of the pain reliever Opana.
Barber began her anti-drug campaign by posting flyers in her neighborhood with the names and pictures of other young adults in South Orange County who have died from drug abuse. “We want to raise awareness,” said Barber. “This is an epidemic.”
The twenty-eight minute video features testimonials about the destructive power of commonly prescribed opiates such as Oxycontin, Opana, and methadone. The free screening at the Rancho Niguel Regency theater attracted so many viewers that dozens had to be turned away.
SoCal Connected’s Michael Okwu spoke to four of the young people who appeared in the documentary about their experiences. “It was hard to watch,” admitted Andrea, of Dana Point, who battled addiction for years and asked that we only use her first name. “I was such a different person.”
Drug overdoses recently surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to statistics analyzed by the Los Angeles Times.
Watch for our segment on prescription drug abuse on SoCal Connected in the coming weeks. And watch a short clip from the film at the top of this page.