DAYTON — It’s common across Southwest Ohio to know someone who has been gripped by or lost to the opioid crisis. It’s equally common to feel at a loss for how to help.
To change that, a local public service campaign focused on opioid addiction has launched a new social media initiative.
All residents across the region are invited to share on social media that they will commit to take a specific action to put a dent in the epidemic — steps as simple as promising to dispose of expired prescription medications or to have a conversation with a loved one.
Local citizens can post their vows on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followed by a hashtag phrase, #myopioidpledge. For private Facebook accounts, pledges should made as public posts so that they can be detected and electronically compiled on the website, OpioidAssist.com, which is operated by Premier Health and its foundations. The website will be populated with pledges from citizens, local elected officials and other business and community leaders.
“So many people have been touched by this epidemic, and it will take the efforts of many people to bring it under control,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “We hope the social-media component of this public-service campaign will serve as a catalyst for action. When people read the pledges of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, they will undoubtedly find inspiration and ideas for how they can make a meaningful difference in addressing addiction.”
Premier Health and its foundations launched a public service campaign in November to head off opioid addiction by discouraging behaviors that can lead to dependency on opioids and other drugs. In addition to driving behavior change, the health system is working to raise awareness that opioid addiction affects a broad cross-section of society.
Individuals and families often don’t know what resources are available to them or how to get help. OpioidAssist.com provides resources from 21 area counties and includes contact information for 14 area crisis service organizations.
The campaign also features a partnership with the local Voices Project to share inspirational videos of people who have been touched by addiction, highlighting the human element of the crisis. The occasional video series is featured on the OpioidAssist.com website and on Premier Health’s social media platforms.