More than 60,000 lives in the United States have succumbed to drug overdose, prescription and otherwise and to counter this disturbing trend brought about by peer pressure, and a ‘wouldn’t hurt to try once’ attitude, is Stop The Spiral’s drug awareness campaign, Hey Charlie.
Stop The Spiral, a project from The Christopher Smithers Foundation Inc. and Columbia University Medical Center, was founded to raise awareness around opioid addiction and recovery. Their drug awareness campaign, Hey Charlie, is another step in that direction, through the story of a teenager whose life spirals out of control when he starts ingesting opioids.
A dutiful son, a strong athlete and an overachieving student, Charlie’s healthy lifestyle is near perfect right before he succumbs to peer pressure and merely experiments with pills.
What transpires is an unfortunate series of events that depict a painful montage of interactions with his family, the gradual decline in his health and relationship with his friends and family, episodes of blackout, diminishing academic performance! Drug use that has grown beyond recreational to habitual and continues to move towards abuse and more disturbing visuals.
The video is shot from Charlie’s POV and brilliantly depicts how the world around an addict appears to be, sending a hard-hitting message that is crucial for a drug awareness campaign.
As the video nears conclusion, Charlie has progressed from abusing pills and other opioids to injecting himself with heroin, whereupon a series of flashbacks from his life before drugs begin to appear before his eyes. In the background, Charlie’s mother can be heard screaming in fear, calling emergency services and telling them that her son has overdosed.
The visuals fade away as only the painful and agonizing weeping, repeatedly calling out his name and accepting the sad fate with every attempt.
Hey Charlie was posted on YouTube on March 2 2018 and has racked up 19K views on the platform whereas on Vimeo, the video has nearly 8.5K views and has largely been appreciated by the viewers.