State Opioid Awareness Initiative Puts Messages on SRTA Buses
NEW BEDFORD — A series of messages aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of opioid abuse will be rolling through New Bedford on buses operated by the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.
The messages are part of a state-wide opioid abuse prevention campaign. The initiative, which is co-sponsored by the U.S Attorney's Office and Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division, seeks to inform the public and spur conversation about the dangers and consequences of abusing, selling and sharing prescription opioids, which has had a devastating impact on families and communities in Massachusetts. Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson spoke with members of the media Wednesday about the campaign.
“The goal of this campaign is to remind people about the dangers of abusing, selling and sharing opioids, including prescription pain pills. Misusing prescription drugs is risky and illegal. We must do more to deter people from misusing opioids, and we hope that increasing awareness will help people make better choices – to resist the risk,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Weinreb.
“The DEA believes that a critical component to its role as the nation’s lead drug law enforcement agency is reducing the demand for drugs,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ferguson. “Opioid abuse is rampant in Massachusetts and throughout New England and many times the abuse of prescription opioids is a gateway to heroin and fentanyl addiction. DEA is proud to collaborate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on this campaign to encourage conversation and raise awareness about the dangers and consequences associated with the abuse of opioids.”
Dubbed #ResistTheRisk, the initiative will blend a multi-media strategy, including the use of print designs - four of which launched Monday on the MBTA’s red and orange subway lines and various MBTA buses, as well as on buses operated by the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority. Additionally, as a part of the campaign, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will engage in direct outreach with youth which will be customized to specific needs and requests. The campaign, which will also involve the use of online marketing, will roll out in stages over the next few months.
The campaign messages focus on a range of audiences, from teens, to parents, to caregivers. All are consistent in their goal of arming individuals to make informed decisions and to inspire further discussion about the opioid crisis.
For more information about the campaign, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/ResistTheRisk.
--New Bedford Police