Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo and the Carroll County Health Department cordially invite the public to attend the “Heroin Still Kills” premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Scott Center at Carroll Community College, 1600 Washington Road, Westminster.
“The original ‘Heroin Kills’ educational video was released 20 years ago,” said Linda Auerback, Substance Abuse Prevention Supervisor for the Bureau of Prevention, Wellness & Recovery at the Carroll County Health Department. “It was groundbreaking for its time and ended up being used nationally and internationally in 49 states and 11 countries, with its unique awareness message. The video is still part of a two-day lesson [and] is [being shown in] 8th grade in schools in Carroll County and in treatment facilities across the nation.”
Auerback spoke of a specific irony.
“This year, the State’s Attorney’s office tackled the remake, but it was funded using drug forfeiture money — so it is sponsored by local drug dealers,” she said.
The film tells the story of a local girl and how her addiction grew from prescription pain pills to heroin use. Auerback said local paramedics are featured in the film.
“We did a reenactment of [her] overdose and it is powerfully done,” she said, adding that, although it is the story of one young woman’s story, it is truly the story of anyone who struggles with addiction. “All the music for the 35-minute remade video was written by Brian McCall, a local young man who is in recovery at this time. He is also a rapper who goes by B-Rain and is pretty popular. He traveled around the country to compete with his music.”
Auerback said this combined effort of the Carroll County States Attorney’s Office and the Carroll County Health Department is truly a local project.
Century High School graduate, Shawn Wehland, owner of Swehland Productions put together the whole thing. He wrote the script, put together the video, and did the film and production.
Carroll County Career and Technology Center teacher, Tony Hooper assisted with the production. Tony was at one time Shawn Wehland’s video production teacher at the Career and Tech Center.
Those who attend will get an additional treat, also spearheaded by local talent.
“We also made a [separate] music video using a song that features the song, “Cheers,” written by some local kids [Taylor Glass Band, Beven Barnhart and Jess Lee Ray]. The name of their band is Friends in Further Places.”
Auerback said the original “Heroin Kills” video of 20 years ago was aired on MTV and won a national award. It was also featured on the ABC TV news show “20-20” with interviewer Connie Chung, the program, on the program, “Voice of America,” and other news shows as well. It was part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Target America program.
Dancers, audience members, videographer Shawn Wehland of Sykesville-based Swehland Productions, Carroll theater technicians and Carroll County officials ready to film scenes for the reboot of “Heroin Kills,” aptly named “Heroin Still Kills.”
“We received letters from both students and parents about the impact of the video on their personal lives — from all over the world,” Auerback said. “This is the premiere of the new video and it is open to the community. Once it is approved by the county’s health curriculum, we plan for it to be shown in local schools and at drug treatments centers, locally and hopefully around the nation.”
Cookies will be provided by the State’s Attorney’s Office. The snow date for the video premiere is Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. at the Scott Center.