Prosecutors launch ad campaign to combat opioid crisis
BOSTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials in Massachusetts said Wednesday that they have launched a new public awareness campaign that includes ads on buses and trains aimed at stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives nationwide.
Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said the campaign called #ResistTheRisk is designed to educate the public on the dangers of using, selling and sharing the highly addictive drugs.
“Although a public awareness campaign is not a fix, we believe that increasing awareness will help individuals make better choices and resist the risk,” Weinreb said.
Four ads are going up on public transportation system buses and Red and Orange commuter trolleys. One of the ads features a picture of a cemetery and says “Keep your name off the next headstone.” Another says that nearly six Massachusetts residents die every day from opioid overdoses and says “Don’t suffer from ‘not my kid’ syndrome.”
“Many parents have this ‘this will never happen to my kid belief,’” said Michael Ferguson, special agent in charge of the New England Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “The truth is it does. This epidemic is not limited to a certain demographic or geographic area,” he said.
Other ads will be rolled out in the coming weeks, Weinreb said. The campaign will also include billboard messages and short videos on social media. The U.S. attorney’s office has spent about $60,000 so far on the campaign.