“Neuqua on Drugs”

After a classmate’s heroin-related death in March, recent graduate and aspiring filmmaker Kelly McCutcheon and senior Jack Kapson wanted to produce a film shedding light on the escalating substance abuse plaguing their school. They call their documentary “Neuqua on Drugs.”

“Well it’s always just very shocking cause at this age we always think we’re invincible so to know that a kid has died just because of a drug is really scary,” said McCutcheon. “No one was really addressing it at the time we were shooting so that’s why we wanted to film it.”

The filmmakers spent the last few months interviewing 25 students from freshman to seniors who’ve been impacted in some way by drug addiction, some even arrested or put through rehab. They then premiered the final project at the 95th street library to an audience of about 200.

“It was really surprising that the kids who knew the three students that died, weren’t ready to walk away from their drugs, even knowing Heroin could kill you – that the high is worth it,” said Naperville resident Barbara Shore. “That was kind of disturbing.”

Neuqua valley administrators have already taken measures to eradicate the drug problem, like holding public forums to educate students and parents….but principal robert mcbride says positive peer influence may be the first step in tackling the issue.

“There’s a space between 2:25 when the bell rings and when students get home and who has influence then? It’s the students,” said McBride. “The students have to be the ones to step up and say something and take ownership of their brothers and sisters and look out after them.”

The reality is, the problem isn’t just at Neuqua. Nor is there a quick fix.

“Whether you want to accept it or not, it’s there and probably will always be there but there are things we can do to help the situation,” said Kapson.


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