More than 300 people gathered Thursday at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center for a screening of “Behind the Orange Curtain,” a poignant film about the increasing abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse in Orange County.
The film is meant to raise public awareness of the need to pay attention to the growing trend and to take immediate action. Children, teens and young adults are dying from taking pills. This deadly behavior is starting in kids as young as 10.
The film highlighted youth who have survived drug abuse and the consequences they have endured – prison, physical impairments and the desperate struggles to free themselves of their addictions. Parents of teens who died shared their heart-wrenching pain to drive the message home that “yes it can happen to you and your family, too.”
Adults and teens from across the county took part including members of the Huntington Beach High School football team. They represented student Tyler Macleod, who died September 24 of a heroin overdose. Heroin is also reaching new levels that are astonishing.
The event was hosted by Mayor Pro Tem Rhonda Reardon, who was pleased to see so many people in attendance.
“Mission Viejo is a close-knit community that responds to calls for action,” she said. “And this is literally a call to save our children.”
Continuing the effort, the City and Mission Viejo Police Services will host the “Prescription Drug and Over the Counter Drug Abuse: What You Should Know” presentation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10 at the community center, 24932 Veterans Way. Crime Prevention Specialist Tammy Descoteaux and youth from the Community of Character Committee are working to develop a program to show youth the impact their choices have on their lives and those around them.
“Teens have to realize that they alone are the answer to this problem for themselves and others,” Descoteaux said. “The committee has designed a forum to motivate and empower them to make a difference.”
The event begins with parents and teens in separate presentations and ends with a group discussion.
Reservations are encouraged for the October 10 event, as seating is limited. To RSVP, call 470-3062. For more information, call Police Services at 470-8433.