The Opioid Assembly: Was It Effective?

The entire Dimond High School recently attended an assembly, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), that helped spread awareness about the ongoing opioid outbreak.

The three hour presentation included a short movie, “Chasing the Dragon,” which had interviews of people affected by the outcomes of drug abuse.

But was the presentation’s message effective?

Dimond High Freshman Jasmine Atkinson said, “I think the presentation was definitely effective in some ways because I think it will help a few people, but I also think there are still a lot of people that do not care about the damage that will be done. Then again, a few is better than none.”

Dimond High Junior Faith Fa’amatuainu Luafulu said, “I loved it. I think it was very well thought out. I also liked how very straight-forward they are about giving the real message.

“All those graphic scenes showed me that they really want to spread the message about drug abuse.”

Many students said the message was very clear and made them aware, but they also said there are a few who do not take the subject as seriously.

Dimond High Freshman Ailyne Chheng said, “I think that the presentation was effective for some, but not all. I think it would be effective to the people that want to learn more or are interested in learning about it.

“Also, I think that some people just don’t care about it, because they think that it is boring and a waste of time.”

For many students, this presentation was a huge eye-opener to things they never knew.

Luafulu said, “I learned that people’s lives are wrecked from just one shot. Everything they did in life goes to waste. It changes so much in people and ruins their lives.”

Dimond High Sophomore Daisy Knight said, “I learned that marijuana could be a gateway drug to much harder drugs in the future.”

Chheng said, “In my opinion, the opioid assembly was interesting, but only at some points. I say it is interesting because we learned so much about stuff that we did not know before, including what happens with drugs and about others experiences.”

Some students even said that the assembly had made them realize just how dangerous these behaviors are.  

Atkinson said, “I thought the assembly was really good. I thought it was very important that we took time out of our regular day for it because it has been a huge problem around the world, especially in Alaska.

“I think it was great for us to have that in school because I personally know quite a few kids that are into opioids, and at first, I didn’t realize the damage it could do.”

The FBI agents and recovering addicts who spoke to us those days provided very moving testimonies about their beliefs on drug abuse and how to help someone who has fallen victim to such acts.

One thing that was said by the one of the recovering addicts onstage was, “Snitches save

lives. I wish somebody snitched on me back then.”

Knowing what to do and say is really important for the youth to learn. Presentations like this should be shown and taught in much earlier years of life. The movie even stated that majority of the victims started using drugs at the age of eleven or younger.

If society were to start teaching children from the beginning, about how dangerous or even lethal these drugs are, the numbers may not be as high.

Atkinson said, “Now that I have knowledge about it, I am scared for those people and everyone else too. We should be raising more awareness to help stop it because it is so addicting and people don’t always know what they are getting.”

In elementary schools, teachers stressed for students to stay drug free, even making us take a pledge to do so, but our young minds knew little to none about what drugs really were.

If we want there to be a change, we need to tackle these issues early on. Not by simply telling people drugs are bad for you, but explaining why it is and the consequences that come with them as well.

The assembly was precise and taught a very valuable lesson. With real officers and victims on the panel answering all the students questions, it seems possible that there will be a change in the community in relations to drug abuse.