U.S. Attorney's Office Launches New Opioid Abuse Prevention Public Service Announcements
BOSTON – Today, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced the launch of a new wave of public service announcements primarily aimed at increasing awareness about the dangers and consequences of abusing, selling and sharing opioids. The ads can be found at www.justice.gov/usao-ma/ResistTheRisk.
The scope of the opioid crisis requires a multi-faceted government response that includes educating the public about opioids to prevent addiction before it starts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, with insight and feedback from various stakeholders, including local law enforcement and first responders, public health professionals, high school students, and formal and informal focus group participants, developed various public service announcements that provide targeted information about opioids. The ads tackle a wide variety of topics such as what constitutes an opioid, the importance of properly storing prescription medications, the dangers associated with abusing pain pills – including mixing pain pills with alcohol or other controlled substances, as well as the laws associated with sharing and distributing opioids, and the legal rights afforded to individuals living with opioid dependence.
“Our mission at the Justice Department is not just to prosecute crime but to prevent it,” said U.S. Attorney Lelling. “We are in the midst of a major public health crisis. Every day federal authorities see people whose lives are being destroyed by opioids, whether those drugs came from street-level dealers or diverted prescriptions. By this point, every drug dealer knows that heroin and fentanyl are killing thousands of people a year, and I will continue to seek the highest sentences available for those who prey on addicts by selling them these deadly substances. But that’s not enough: we should also play a role in educating the public about the dangers of recreational opioid use, of counterfeit pills bought on the street, of mixing prescription opioids with alcohol or other controlled substances, and about the need for increased treatment and rehabilitation opportunities for people in the grip of opioid addiction.”
The new public service announcements released today supplement existing materials launched in November 2017. The new wave includes four 30-second videos (produced by Ted Reed Productions, LLC), six short audio messages, and an animation. The ads will be disseminated widely across both traditional and digital media platforms – from recreational venues, cinemas, television and radio stations, to online music streaming sites, Google advertising, and the most popular social media platforms. While each message addresses a different aspect of the crisis, they all serve the same goal: prevention.
For more information about the campaign, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/ResistTheRisk.