The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched a campaign featuring real-life stories of people recovering from opioid-use disorder and people whose loved ones have died due to a prescription opioid overdose.
The campaign was designed to boost awareness among Americans about the risks linked with prescription opioids. 91 people die everyday in the U.S. from an opioid-related overdose, according to the CDC.
“The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services is committed to using evidence-based methods to communicate targeted messages about the opioid crisis and prevent addiction and misuse in every way we can,” HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price said in prepared remarks.
“Prevention is a key piece of the five-point strategy HHS unveiled under the Trump Administration for combating this crisis, which has left no corner of America untouched.”
The awareness campaign sports the tagline ‘It only takes a little to lose a lot,’ and includes ads that will run for 14 weeks in Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Mexico.
“This campaign is part of CDC’s continued support for states on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic,” CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald added. “These heartbreaking stories of the devastation brought on by opioid abuse have the potential to open eyes – and save lives.”
The campaign comes after President Donald Trump said he decided to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency – a plan that has not yet gained any formal momentum.
After Price came forward and said the administration would not make such a move, Trump told reporters that the opioid crisis is an “emergency” and that they would dedicate “a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”
“It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. You know when I was growing up, they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years,” the president said. “And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem. This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest.”
Earlier this year, a White House commission responsible for drawing up policy suggestions to curb the opioid crisis released an interim report, writing that declaring a national emergency was the group’s “first and most urgent” recommendation.