Overtaken by drugs panel

Adrianna Mendoza

Jodie Barber screened her addiction documentary titled, “Overtaken” at Saddleback on Monday, Nov. 5. Jodie lost her 19-year-old son Jarrod Barber to an Opana drug overdose on Jan. 8, 2010.
 “My husband and I found him barely breathing on the sofa.” Jodie’s documentary epitomizes the very mission she has been on since the death of her beloved son. She urged Saddleback students, “Don’t take pills. Pills kill.”
The near-thirty-minute documentary focuses on the prominence and deadly effects of drugs in Orange County. Mrs. Baber believes that pills such as Opana are a problem extremely pertinent to the OC. Barber stressed, “Orange County is number two in the nation for overdose deaths ages 18 to 24.”
Eighteen personal addiction stories of young people in Orange County were shared throughout the screening. The stories ranged from a young girl so brain damaged that she can no longer dance, run or speak at a normal pace due to one dose ecstasy taken at a high school party; to a heroin addict who ran over his mother to continue his addiction.
One young man recalled a low point in his heroin addiction when he found his best friend dead on the floor with the needle still inside of his arm. Thinking about the  traumatic experience, he stated that it did not stop his heroin use saying, “My soul was pretty much gone.”
The heartfelt and raw stories did not stop once the screening of the documentary ended. The audience was introduced to three success stories, Demetri, Gina, and Tori. Each shared their own personal stories and their road to recovery. Tori stressed that Opana was a huge problem, as Mrs. Barber had discussed earlier. Tori went on to say, “Opana is 1,000 times worse that morphine. It was designed for fourth-stage cancer patients; people who are dying.”
Perhaps the most endearing and heart-wrenching story came from Gina. She began her story stating that she views her recovery as a day-to-day process.
Gina moved to Orange County at a young age and was raised by “a junkie dad and a co-dependent mother.” The young woman revealed that her father introduced her to meth at age 11 and she had a criminal record by the age of 14.
After being kidnapped by her junkie friends and losing her son to her drug addiction, she decided to turn herself in. She recalls the moment she turned herself in to the police as, “the best day of my life.”
At the end of the event, the room was silent after taking in the very real and raw accounts of each person.
Saddleback student Vivianna Gonzales, 19, psychology expressed, “I thought there was a lot of good information … It was definitely an eye opener.”

For more information on Jodie’s efforts, visit her website:
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For information on Jodie’s other projects visit: