Every Fifteen Minutes 2024, by Eli Myers

Contributed by Eli Myers, Claremont High School Advanced Video Production

Every Fifteen Minutes 2024
Written by Eli Myers
Directed by Lindsey Olivo and Louis Nolte
Claremont High School Advanced Video Production

A note from the writer:

In 2021, one of my closest friends in high school, Chloe Kreutzer, was killed by fentanyl poisoning after taking a laced pill unbeknownst to her. She was only fourteen. I was fifteen, and that trauma stuck with me. I fell into addiction to cope with the grief. I wanted to join her. I was a child too. I walked around the school feeling like a ghost, seeing her face in every corridor. I’ve always been an advocate for others when my own life seems to spiral. So that’s what I did. I fought tirelessly every single year since my freshman year to educate the staff and student body about the fentanyl crisis. Now, in my senior year, I finally was able to make a difference by writing about my experiences of loss, grief, and guilt, into a film with the help of my wonderful and hard-working video production class. I was able to spread awareness to my peers. I was able to do right by Chloe.

Every Fifteen Minutes is a two day long program to educate high school students about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This program has been in place for years, and was under the threat of being removed entirely from Claremont High School. My Advanced Video Production class rallied support to get the program going again for 2024. The future is uncertain, but the program means a lot for people in our class.

So what does a program about impaired driving have to do with the fentanyl crisis? Well, the truth is that the statistics of people being killed in D.U.I related accidents is much lower than when the program was originally created. The statistic has since been lowered to about once every thirty nine minutes somebody is killed in a D.U.I related accident, which is amazing progress, but it has led to many people, including myself, to feel as if the program is losing its relevance in the community. It didn’t take me long to realize what the number one issue among teenagers and young adults is, fentanyl. It is the number one cause of death for people aged 18-45. The fentanyl crisis is both new and terrifying. What separates impaired driving deaths from fentanyl poisoning deaths is the fact that there is no chance to experiment anymore. The very first time you take a laced pill could be your last. Making good decisions around alcohol tends to be after the drinking is done. There is no “good decision” to make if you take a laced pill. You will overdose. Fentanyl is just that potent.

There is an inherent disconnect in the minds of teenagers between people who like to party and people who die from drugs. You never think it will be you, but neither did Chloe. Neither did Cayley Brown, another 9th grader from Claremont High School who tragically overdosed a few years ago. If students are not faced with the truth, it could be them. I wish something like this was around when Chloe and I were younger. I am only left wondering what could have been. Please educate your children, family, and friends. Together, we can change minds and hearts.

Enjoy the video.
Eli Myers