Facebook, Georgia Reps Share Videos To 'Stop Opioid Silence'
A campaign to raise awareness of opioid misuse and break the shame and stigma associated with addiction, is receiving help from five Georgia lawmakers.
Facebook’s public policy and program manager, Liza Heyman, said the social media giant is proud to be working on such an important campaign with Reps. Buddy Carter, Hank Johnson, Lucy McBath, Rob Woodall and Jody Hice.
The social platform will bolster the “Stop Opioid Silence” campaign created by Partnership for Drug Free Kids, Heyman said.
The program was initially created to learn about the opioid epidemic and how Americans across the country are affected, Heyman said.
“Facebook was trying to figure out what part we could play,” Heyman said. “And we decided at that point to launch a national public awareness campaign.”
Opioid use disorder and opioid-related death continues to be a problem in Georgia. In 2018, residents suffered 867 opioid-related deaths compared to 1,014 in 2017 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite a drop in the number of opioid deaths, overdose deaths were almost twice as common as deaths from car crashes in parts of the state.
Overdoses were Cobb County’s second-leading cause of death in 2018. Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia’s 6th District, which includes parts of Cobb County, was one of the five leaders who volunteered to make a video.
“We invited every member of Congress to participate in the campaign, and we were thrilled to have five bipartisan Congressional leaders in Georgia raise their hands and say this is an issue they care deeply about,” Heyman said.
McBath said she wants to help bring attention to this epidemic, assist those who need treatment and work to end this crisis.
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Substance use disorder keeps men and women in their prime out of work and costs the economy billions of dollars, Carter (R-Pooler) said during the 2018 National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta. He is the only pharmacist serving in Congress and was part of the group that passed 57 bills in 2018 crafted to create a comprehensive government approach aimed at lowering the number of overdose-related deaths and preventing new patients from becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
The campaign encourages residents struggling with opioid use disorders, as well as their families, the opportunity to share their stories of addiction and recovery.
“For a long time, there has been a deafening silence on this issue,” Woodall said. “But the time is now to take a stand and change the narrative. By raising your voice and sharing your story, you can inspire others to do the same. Together, in a unified push, we can help the millions of Americans affected by the opioid crisis seek proper treatment and begin recovery.”
Heyman said Facebook will share the representatives’ videos in the newsfeeds of their constituents. The campaign goes through February.