Sears Recital Hall was filled Thursday night as a staggering number of people came out to support the world premiere of Epicenter: Dayton’s Opioid Crisis, a student-developed, student-run documentary exploring the major epidemic impacting the Dayton community.
Twenty-three students came together over the course of the school year to create the work under the direction of instructor and adviser Greg Kennedy, adviser Roy Flynn, and student producers Taylor Alexander, Matt Hilliard and Alexander Moulvi.
The documentary, according to Moulvi, has a unique take on the epidemic by showing Dayton from the city’s perspective instead of a worldview. It seeks to offer a side previously untouched, undocumented.
The documentary featured a variety of angles from statistics to newscasts to personal interviews with people directly impacted, diving into the intertwining narrative on the impact of opioids and the severity of the issue.
Billy Brokschmidt, formerly of the Air Force and recovering addict who has been clean for two years, said, “I could have dope delivered here faster than I could have a pizza delivered here.”
The film also highlighted factors contributing to the crisis in Dayton, noting the convenience of the city located between interstates 70 and 75 along with previous “pill mills”, or circumstances where doctors who would over-prescribe pain medication.
As a whole, the group hopes that through the documentary, the stereotype surrounding addiction will be broken and it will instead be thought of as a disease.
“It’s about an awareness of the addicts,” Kennedy said. “Don’t solely put the blame on someone when you see someone that is struggling with addiction. Understand and be more open to help them.”
The documentary, published on YouTube, can be viewed by clicking this link.