Nationwide PSA campaign aims to expose effects of opioid use

FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet, in New York. Cities and counties of all sizes have sued companies that make and distribute prescription opioids. Among the plaintiffs so far: Philadelphia; the state of Ohio; Princeton, West Virginia; the Cherokee Nation; and a consortium of counties across Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - From recovering addicts and families to lawmakers and law enforcement, everyone is affected by the opioid epidemic.

Now, those stories on the struggle are going nationwide.

According to the White House, the Administration unveiled the first set of public awareness ads to combat the opioid crisis, which will focus on ads for ages 18-24. It was created in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative.

In Montgomery County, the tide seems to be turning, at least for now.

"We're working with education and kids in the schools," said Dan Suffoletto, with Public Health of Dayton and Montgomery Co.

New data shows there were 566 overdose deaths in 2017. So far this year, preliminary reports total 110, which is already less than the first two months of 2017 combined.

"Overall, it's too early to tell whether the slight decrease is going to continue on throughout the year," said Suffoletto. "They still have to fight against opioids. They still have to take Narcan and have that available."

While most agree education is the key to lowering overdose numbers, Lori Erion with Families of Addicts told Fox 45 that she sees concerns with the campaign.

Erion believes, "no effort is for nothing." However, she points to several sites she says are already doing similar campaigns, like the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Facing Addiction.

"Why not pitch the good ones we already have?" she asked.

Erion said her real issue is with the tone of the ads, where actors are intentionally hurting themselves to get more prescriptions. She calls it a "scare tactic" that's been proven not to work with targeted teens.

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