DAYTON — Premier Health and its hospital foundations have launched a multi-pronged, collaborative public service campaign to combat opioid addiction, which has helped make Ohio one of the nation’s worst hotspots for overdose deaths in recent years.
In addition to driving behavior change, the campaign uses a range of print, television, outdoor and digital media to raise awareness that opioid addiction affects a broad cross-section of society. One ad, for example, shows a high school quarterback at football practice who is described with a series of adjectives: Envied. Admired. Recruited. Addicted.
The epidemic has hit Southwest Ohio especially hard. Montgomery County’s hospital emergency departments saw more than 2,500 overdose patients during the first half of 2017 – more than in any other Ohio county, according to the county’s Community Overdose Action Team. Ohio led the nation in overdose deaths in 2015.
“Opioid addiction has reached crisis levels in many of the communities that we serve,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “We feel this public service campaign is an important component of our nonprofit mission to improve the health of residents of Southwest Ohio. We want to do our part in driving behavior change through this campaign, and look forward to partnering with other mission-driven organizations to sustain this effort.”
Using the tagline “Don’t Let a Prescription Become an Addiction,” the campaign encourages people who are grappling with addiction and their loved ones to place a call for help, and links them with the resources that they need to do so.
“This epidemic didn’t develop overnight, and it will take years for our region to recover,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for Montgomery County. “We appreciate that Premier Health is stepping forward as a community partner to make a difference in tackling this public health imperative, and to be a leader in the collaborative response that it will take to solve this problem.”
More information about the campaign is available at opioidassist.com.