Group's `Heroin Kills' video generating interest

Many requests for tape received before premiere

May 23, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The prerelease hype hasn't matched that for "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace," but Thursday's premiere of "Heroin Kills" at Carroll County's Drug Summit '99 is generating growing interest in Carroll County and beyond.

A standing-room-only crowd is expected at the Westminster Senior Center for the first public showing of the 34-minute video, which was written, directed and shot by Residents Attacking Drugs.

"We already have received about 70 requests for copies from as far away as Cecil County," said Linda Auerback, co-founder and spokeswoman for RAD, a Westminster-based grass-roots community organization that was formed last year.

About 150 people attended a private, invitation-only showing of "Heroin Kills" May 14 at Western Maryland College. Auerback said that surprised her because 125 people were invited, including the cast, those involved in making the video and other supporters of RAD.

"Tears were flowing, and you could have heard a pin drop when it ended," she said.

The video depicts the life and death of an all-American boy addicted to heroin.

Joanne Hayes, substance abuse coordinator for Carroll County schools, said last week that 21 copies of "Heroin Kills" have been ordered and will be used in the high schools and middle schools as a prevention tool in the effort to keep young people from experimenting with drugs.

"The video targets heroin, but our concerns also include alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use," she said.

Hayes noted that a few parents have called her office because they wanted their children to see the video before school closes for the summer vacation.

"I encouraged them to attend [Thursday's] Drug Summit '99," Hayes said.

Auerback said one grandmother who called feared that her grandson, an eighth-grader, would miss seeing "Heroin Kills." She wanted a copy and asked about the cost.

Told that copies would be available for $10 plus shipping, she said it would be the " `best $10 I ever spent,' " Auerback said.

Auerback said Cecil County has ordered two copies of the video, York County, Pa., has requested a copy, and she intends to contact White House drug policy director Barry R. McCaffrey to find out whether there is national interest in using "Heroin Kills" as a drug-prevention tool.

Prestige Cable, the county's main cable provider, and Fox 45, a Baltimore television station, also have inquired about using the video, Auerback said.

"We had more than 100 who helped in producing `Heroin Kills,' and I consider them all members of RAD, whether they have actually formally signed up or not," she said.

To order a copy of "Heroin Kills," call 410-876-1323. Copies will be available after Thursday.

Pub Date: 5/23/99

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