SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — A Simi Valley teen is using his talents as a filmmaker for an anti-drug message to students.
“I want them to fear the drug,” says Alex Martinez.
The drug in question is heroin. The movie is called “Poison.”
Martinez put together a short film that would be a very real warning to young people not to get messed up with drugs and, in particular, heroin.
“I just tried to create something that could be relatable to the everyday teenager,” said Martinez.
The talented teen was approached to make the anti-heroin film by the nonprofit group Not One More.
They first learned of Martinez after he made a cautionary movie about the dangers of drunk driving called “Every 15 Minutes.”
“We wanted to get it into all the schools,” says John Poleno, director of community outreach for Not One More. “We wanted to use it as a platform to educate and bring awareness.”
Heroin use has seen a resurgence around the country.The sting of the drug has been particularly felt in Simi Valley and around Ventura County.
The president of Not One More, Pat Montoya, believes reaching students is key.
“We like to go into schools,” he said, “[and tell them] trying it once or twice is a choice but trying it after that, it’s an addiction.”
Authorities say there were 754 overdose deaths in Ventura County between 2008-14. Nearly one-fourth of those were blamed on heroin.
“You want every kid to be educated on the dangers of drugs,” says mom Melissa Siebers.
She knows about the casualty rate. Her daughter, Lindsay, died while using heroin in 2012.
“It’s real, it’s real and Alex is doing a great job,” Siebers said.
Martinez was given $500 to make the ant-heroin film — and he produced, directed, shot and edited it on that budget.
“I just wanted it to be as great as I possibly could make it. So the goal of saving people’s lives, and getting them away from the drug, could be the best it could be.”
“Poison” will debut Sunday night at the Studio Movie Grill in Simi Valley and will also be available online.