Just how addictive are opiates such as prescription painkillers and heroin? Consider Melissa\u2019s story. After regaining consciousness in the hospital after a heroin overdose, the young mother unhooked her IV from its pole, walked out and went straight to her dealer, still in her hospital gown. \u201cAnd he sold me heroin, the same heroin that just killed me.\u201d The still-attached IV was a \u201cfreebie,\u201d she added, providing an easy way to shoot up for the next few days. It is disturbing first-person accounts such as these that the FBI and the DEA have brought together in \u201cChasing the Dragon: The Life of An Opiate Addict,\u201d a documentary designed to encourage conversations about drugs in the hope of helping end a national addiction epidemic that kills more than 47,000 annually. \u201cWe thought the best approach would be to let you hear the truth. No filter. No censors,\u201d explained FBI Director James Comey in the documentary\u2019s introduction. Instead, the film offers up unscripted interviews with opiate users and their families, who still seem shell-shocked by how quickly a substance can cause life to spin out of control. Melissa, for example, became addicted after being prescribed OxyContin when her daughter was born. From there, she progressed to the cheaper and easier-to-acquire heroin and eventually \u201cran away from home\u201d to live downtown near the dealers. \u201cIt became my full-time job. The needle was my boss \u2014 a very demanding boss.\u201d \u2018I Lost Everything\u2019 The documentary\u2019s title references not only a technique of inhaling heated opiates but a drug user\u2019s attempt to recreate their first euphoric high. And that\u2019s the problem. With each opiate use, the brain changes, and more and more of the drug is needed to even come close to capturing that initial feeling. Eventually, as the addiction intensifies, the best that can be hoped for is to take the edge off painful withdrawal symptoms. Katrina, another of the film\u2019s subjects, was a corporate account executive who was making six figures a year when she hurt her back and tried opiates given to her by a friend in pharmaceutical sales. Soon, she said, \u201cmy addiction level was so bad that I couldn\u2019t even function without 40 pills a day. I was ill \u2014 like literally every four hours the chills started setting in. And I woke up sick. And that\u2019s the way it went all day long.\u201d In the end, she says in the film, \u201cI lost everything,\u201d including her teenage daughter, who overdosed on prescription painkillers while she was in jail. \u201cI think I\u2019m still in shock. \u2026 I don\u2019t even know how to put it into words. Maybe that\u2019s why I am able to deal with it, because it is so mind numbing. \u2026 That someone you love that much, you can lose like that. And you can\u2019t go back and say, \u2018I\u2019m sorry,\u2019 or set a better example, or talk them out of it.\u201d A young man named Cory also shares a story of loss in the film \u2014 his girlfriend, Cierra, died of an opiate overdose \u2014 and opens up about a recent relapse of his own. \u201cFor me to lose somebody a year ago, not even a year gone by, and I\u2019m already using again \u2014 that\u2019s how powerful this stuff is.\u201d He added, \u201cIf I could go back, if I knew what I know now about this, I would do it all different. Starting with that first pill \u2014 I wouldn\u2019t touch it.\u201d Cierra\u2019s mother, Trish, appears in the film as well, speaking of seeing her once happy child turn into someone she could not understand and of the day she opened the door to her daughter\u2019s bedroom to find her dead on the floor. For the documentary\u2019s viewers, she has this warning: \u201cIt is much stronger than you. And it will win. It will win.\u201d She urges those who are struggling with opiates to seek help immediately, before the addiction can become even more entrenched, \u201cbecause this doesn\u2019t just affect you. It affects everybody in your family for the rest of their lives. We\u2019re the ones stuck here missing you. And there\u2019s help out there; you gotta take it. Don\u2019t think you can do it alone because you can\u2019t.\u201d \u201cChasing the Dragon\u201d can be viewed on the FBI website.