Behind the Orange Curtain

“An Eye Opening Peek into Prescription Drug Abuse”
Dawn Ann Ritter and Andrea L. Mohammadi

Did you know that prescription drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death in America?  Did you know that prescription drug abuse often leads to addiction to drugs such as Heroin?  Did you know that many teens begin to experiment with drugs as early as 12 years old?  These are just a few facts that have brought attention to the issue  of Prescription Drug Abuse in America, in Montana, and in our communities. But the fact that our children are dying from prescription drug overdoses is the most sobering. You can lose your job, you can lose your money, you can lose your friends, but there is nothing worse than losing your child.

On Oct. 23-26, Red Lodge Schools will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week. This week is dedicated to bringing awareness about drug abuse and making a commitment to a drug free lifestyle. Behind the Orange Curtain, an award winning documentary film directed by Brent Huff, will be our kick off event for Red Ribbon Week. The initial film showing will be at Red Lodge High School beginning at 1 p.m.  High School and Middle school students from the entire county have been invited to attend this program, which is appropriate for grades 5-12. A panel of experts has been invited to do a Q & A with the students during and after the movie.  Our panel will consist of: the award winning director of the movie, Brent Huff; Dr. Brad Fouts, St Vincent’s Healthcare, Erin Oley, Beartooth Billings Clinic; Jon Trapp, Paramedic/RLFD/SAR; Carbon County Sheriff, Josh McQuillan; Dawn Ann Ritter, EMT; John and Carol Keenan of Billings, a family who has lost a child to drug abuse. After viewing and film and participating in the panel, organizers for the event are featuring a popular “clean” band, featuring Columbia Recording Artists: Michael Duff and Trace Ritter of CHALK FARM. They will be playing their hit songs that send a “clean” and supportive message to strengthen the drug-free focus.

There will be three additional showing of the film for parents, community members and anyone who could not make the initial event.  Oct. 24 will feature a free full-length film shown at the Roman Theater in Red Lodge along with free food generously donated by Big Guy BBQ, the Nelson Ranch, Tammy Hart Ringer and our local IGA. Behind the Orange Curtain will be shown again on Oct. 25 - 26 at 5 p.m. There will also be a “Take Back” program on Oct. 24- 26 at the Roman Theater where people can drop off their unused and expired prescription drugs.
Hollywood is coming to Red Lodge to bring a powerful and frightening message about prescription drug abuse. This is being made possible by the efforts  a few individuals in our community who are passionate about getting this message to our youth, their parents and the community. Having personally seen and experienced the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse in the families and homes of people in our communities first hand, these individuals have worked hard to bring this documentary film and it’s renowned director to Red Lodge.  Dawn Ann Ritter and Andrea Mohammadi, organizers of the event, proclaim what an extremely powerful film you will see. Having personal experience with addiction in the family, Mohammadi relates, “telling your children “don’t do it” is not enough. They don’t listen. They think they are invincible. They think “it won’t happen to me”.  What they don’t understand is that it CAN happen to them. A parent can talk until they are blue in the face about the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol use. It won’t sink in. This film gives drug use another face that hopefully our youth will identify with. The hope is that this approach will show our youth that it can happen to them. The hope is that this approach will show them that this is reality and the hope is to show them that “just once’ can change their lives and the lives of their family forever."

The goal is to educate and bring awareness about the prescription drug problem not just to our youth but also to our parents, health professionals, church, school and community leaders.  It is all our problem.  Everyone is invited for this free event For more information, please feel free to contact Dawn Ann Ritter @ 406-446-9083 or Andrea L. Mohammadi @ 406-671-3872.


Upcoming Events

  • Monday, July 22, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Monday, July 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.