Gov. Bevin launches public consciousness marketing campaign to assist fight opioids, highlights sources, therapy
Governor Matt Bevin urges all Kentuckians to help tackle the opioid epidemic with a new awareness campaign that highlights the dangers of opioid abuse and provides information on drug treatment and naloxone.
The campaign, which kicks off this week, combines web content with nationwide advertising to bring home a simple message: “Don’t let them die.” The theme encourages Kentuckians to see the value inherent in human life – even in the grip of addiction – and take proactive steps to help their friends, family and communities overcome this crisis.
One way all Kentuckians can help: educate yourself about the risk of opioid abuse and spread the word.
Fatal overdoses claimed more than 1,400 deaths in Kentucky last year, up 7.4 percent from 2015. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more effective than heroin, was a contributing factor to 623 deaths while using heroin 456 deaths contributed.
Most of the deaths occurred in people aged 35 to 44 years, followed by people aged 45 to 54 years. Kentucky currently has the third highest overdose rate in the country, and a recent study found that 80 percent of heroin users start out on prescription opioids.
“Behind every number is a suffering soul and a wounded family who have faced drug abuse many times for decades,” said John Tilley, Kentucky attorney general. “However, we also hear stories of hope and recovery almost every day. Therefore, it is important that every Kentuckian join this fight to save life. With the right support and resources, we know recovery is possible. “
As part of the campaign, radio and television commercials with audio from a harrowing emergency call will be broadcast nationwide for the next week. The tortured voice on the phone belongs to Nikki Strunck, a mother from Richmond, Kentucky, who discovered her son Brendan, who died of an overdose in January 2016.
While the first ad aims to raise awareness about the dangers of opioids and the number of addicts, future ads are expected to focus on resources and treatment. The 30-second spots were acquired through the Public Education Partnership Program, administered by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association.
In addition to advertising, the governor’s office has launched www.DontLetThemDie.com, a website with information on opioids, treatment, and the overdose antidote naloxone. Officials plan to keep updating the website as new initiatives are announced.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s Office
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