ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It is no secret New Mexico is fighting a drug problem, but the way one local woman is bringing attention to the issue seems to be gaining a lot of traction.
It started as a class project and is now becoming a mission for Kendra Crooks.
A Youtube video is the University of New Mexico film student's way of dealing with the death of her brother, Taylor. He died at 23-years-old of a heroin overdose.
"Calling my dad after [getting the news] was the hardest part. Telling him that his son, just after his wife had passed away, his son was gone too... so tough," Crooks says.
She spent three months collecting interviews for this video, "Chasing the Dragon"—named after a technique used to smoke heroin.
It started as a project for a documentary film production class.
Crooks talked to locals like her who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses and even some recovering from addictions.
"It really is hard to describe it. Your whole body just warms," Raquel Done describes heroin in the video.
Done told Crooks that day about a friend she was trying to help get off drugs.
"October 24th, the day I interviewed with Kendra—three hours later my best friend overdosed from heroin," Done says.
"What I really want to do is have people start to talk about it—people in high school, parents," Crooks says.
The video has gotten more than 5,300 views in the five days it has been up. So many, Crooks says, Youtube sent her a message asking if she wants to make money off of it.
"The amount of impact it's had is so awesome and if people keep spreading it and learning about the dangers of heroin, I think it really will make a difference."
Crooks is taking it a step further, speaking at local high schools with the Heroin Awareness Committee on the fight against drugs.
She says she plans to continue making videos like this that can make a difference.
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