The relaunch of the campaign follows an uptick in opiate related overdoses in recent weeks. According to a recent Buffalo Business First article, “the number of overdose fatalities in Erie County this year could end up doubling last year’s total of 119, including 10 overdoses in a 24-hour span earlier this month.”
“The recent spike in overdoses has made it abundantly clear that increased education, awareness and conversation is still needed within our region,” said Gretchen Fierle, senior vice president for marketing and communications at BlueCross BlueSheild of Western New York.
“You always had your people who were addicted to heroin, but they were very much in the minority. They’re not in the minority anymore. Now, it is the majority of people who come in for treatment are addicted to opiate drugs, including heroin,” said Anne Constantino, Horizons Corporations president and CEO (Source: TWC News).
On August 3rd, 30 new billboards will go up throughout our community to help spread awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
The campaign, will continue into the fall, and will include public service announcements in print, radio, television, and online. WNED will also re-air the documentary produced in 2013. PKK will continue it’s social media and awareness campaign, including adding additional resources to our website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
The community will also continue to have access to a 24/7 anonymous hotline staffed by counselors at Horizon Health Services — (855) 969-HOPE.
Other aspects of the campaign include education in middle and high schools, information cards distributed at local pharmacies, doctors’ offices and schools, a public art project with local students, spearheaded by photo artist Max Collins, and enhanced physician education.