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After making his first documentary – Kids are DyingMichael DeLeon, who runs ‘Steered Straight‘, travelled throughout the U.S. to nearly 40 states to talk to people about the opioid crisis. He speaks with parents who have lost a child, professionals in the field, addicts in recovery, as well as celebrities to create this eye-opening film. It seems that everyone shares one common belief: the opioid crisis is an epidemic that has gone on for far too long.

Published in 2018

Viewing Time: 1 hour 41 minutes


“I honestly can’t think of one family that isn’t touched by this disease of addiction … it’s just running rampant and it seems like we’re losing. With all the recovery programs out there and all the community support that their recovery agencies have, it just seems like we’re still losing the battle.”

“Specifically with youth, the developing brain is at the greatest risk and sure enough they become addicted much quicker than older people when they use or abuse these drugs. This is the worst I’ve seen it in 17 years because of prescription drug use. It’s now happening in more households than I’ve ever seen it before and now I’m also seeing a generational addiction, where mom abuses and so does son or daughter and so on.”

What’s the main thing thing that’s going to prevent that child from becoming addicted? I would say there’s 5 key values and skills.
One is purpose in life – there’s something they want to do that they find valuable.
Second is a belief in themselves – they feel that they’re a valuable person and a capable person.
A third value is responsibility – of feeling that people can count on them, that they’re capable of doing what they say they can do.
The fourth thing is competency – a thing that they are able to do with life and situations that they can develop the skills necessary to overcome problems.
And the fifth thing that they require is a positive ability to enjoy life – when you have the capacity to really enjoy your experience, you’re not going to go overboard seeing some kind of bogus enjoyment through something which is a temporary or artificial form.”

“Almost every aspect of your life starts to dip when you start to include … opioid prescription painkillers. It all clouds your judgment and it’s just not worth it because at the end of the day if you decide to go down that road of drugs and alcohol there’s no telling if you’re going to come back. And if you do come back, are you going to come back yourself?”


“We’re their parents, were supposed to be able to fix them. We’re supposed to be able to put a Band-Aid on them. We’re supposed to be able to walk them through the doors and hand them over to a treatment center and hope that that treatment center is going to exhaust every single avenue with our addict kids.”

“I never thought that it would take him to the place of addiction and certainly that it would take his life because your children aren’t supposed to die before you do, but he did.”

“There is an opiate and an opioid. The only difference is ones the natural heroin and ones man-made heroin, so when people hear the word painkiller they’re not really tuned in to the fact that we’re really talking about prescription heroin.”

“You have a window of opportunity, you have a window of willingness, and that window closes very quickly. So if you have an individual that is looking for help, it’s very important to take advantage of that willingness and move them in a direction before they have a chance to change their minds.”

“For anybody that would want to get into recovery, it’s hard but it’s so worth it. It’s an awesome thing to just live your normal life and feel things.”

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Hey there! I hope you found this resource useful! If you’re interested in learning more about the topics discussed, you can browse through these additional resources. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything.

Opioid Crisis

Talking to Kids About Drugs

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