Arizona’s Anti-opioid campaign
A new anti-opioid campaign has been started in Arizona. A video of a teenage girl trapped inside a pill shows how deadly opioid addiction can become for teenagers. The campaign is started with $400600 paid by the state.
As per state officials, the uses of graphic images in those two videos are targeted to an audience of teens under 12 to 17 years of age. It will prevent them from using opioids like Vicodin and Heroin. The two videos of 30 seconds each feature a teen boy and a girl separately.
Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services Director, said that the two videos had a feel like horror movies. The state legislature had appropriated the amount for the anti-opioid campaign. And that campaign had to be graphic to bring awareness among the teens in Arizona and also fear of the law.
As per some critics, the tone and style of the video may not work for a longer time. The scare tactic may change teen’s mindset for a moment, but a change in behavior and attitude is needed.
Graeme Fox, who does community outreach with Shot in the Dark said that things did not go as expected when you try to impose something on someone. Resorting to a means to scare them off was not necessary for educating the youth. The programme where Fox works is a community driven one. It provides clean needles to the drug users in order to prevent them from blood-borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.
As per some experts, the scare tactics may work for a shorter time, but for a longer run, a lot more things need to be done.
But, as per the officials, the videos made by the help of advertising agency Owens Harkey and teen focus groups have caught the attention of the teens in Arizona owing to the horror tone. And as per the officials, the tone was necessary to make them understand the magnanimity of the situation the teens had at their hands. Opioid addiction changes mind and using it even for a shorter time can make someone dependent on the pills. That way they can lose control not only over their lives but also over their future. The usage of such drugs has increased only due to ignorance among the young population.
The campaign consists of two online videos, images on social media and a website designed for this purpose. The design of every resource has been in such a way that can be helpful for the kids to understand.
The images, videos, and the announcements will be going on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat; on music streaming sites such as Spotify and Pandora; and on mobile in-app gaming and connected TV.
One image depicts a young boy drowning in the pile of pills and another image features kids behind the bars of syringes.
The website also has the resources to learn more about the addiction and its ill-effects. It also has a link attached there to call for help.
As per the campaigners, the images are also going to be distributed in schools.
As per some people who are active in this field, the State needs to do more for this campaign. Expensive advertisements and the online campaign may not always fetch the results expected.
The state should consider legalizing syringe service programme. This way the teens can be saved from transmitting blood-borne diseases in a less expensive way.
Syringe service programme’s aim is to keep people as healthy as possible. It provides syringes to the teens and sometimes the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.
A bill legalizing the programme was introduced in the Arizona legislative session last year. But it couldn’t be passed. A similar bill may be again introduced this session. We have to see how things go from here.
The problem at hand is very serious as the future of the nation is at stake. Teenagers should be well aware of the consequences of drug addiction, and the state should establish expert committees to review what best ways can be adopted to tackle the situation. But, the whole issue has one biggest factor that is ‘Family.’ Kids should be guided and should be taught about the harms that can be incurred by the drug addiction.