EXCERPT: UD Athlete helped tell a powerful tale of Dayton's opioid crisis
The following is an exceprt of a feature by Tom Archdeacon in the Dayton Daily News about UD rower Taylor Alexander and her documentary about the opiod crisis in Dayton. A link to the full story, which includes the award-winning film documentary, follows the excerpt.
She sat in the deserted indoor rowing room at the back of the Frericks Center a few evenings ago and talked quietly about folks who are trying to stay afloat in far rougher waters than she or her University of Dayton teammates ever have faced.
“They let us into a vulnerable place in their lives and in their hearts,” said Taylor Alexander as her eyes began to tear up.
“They allowed us to come in with camera equipment and ask nosy questions, so I wanted to be very sensitive and not exploit their suffering for the sake of a good story.
“They have lives and dreams and ambitions and families. And when you learn what it means to live with addiction and, moreover, when someone tries to stop, you realize what they are facing.
“You know it’s something you never want to experience, but you have an empathy and a real appreciation for them that you might not have had before.”
That’s the kind of talk you get from the 22-year-old senior who not only is a veteran rower for the Flyers but has shown herself to be a budding movie maker, too.
Alexander is the co-producer of a documentary — “Epicenter: Dayton’s Opioid Crisis” — that just won a student Emmy from the four-state Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The 16-minute film, which offers a sobering, but caring, examination of the numbing national drug crisis as seen through the lens of Dayton, is the work of student filmmakers in Greg Kennedy’s media production class at UD. They spoke to recovering addicts, their families, treatment specialists and law enforcement to get their story.