A campaign is being launched in Nebraska to fight against the abuse of prescribed pain relievers.
Called a “Dose of Reality,” a public service campaign will seek to raise awareness of misusing opioid pain medications.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says the problem needs to be cut off now.
“We saw about 54 deaths in 2015 that were directly related to opioid abuse that we can track,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference at the Capitol. “We don’t want that number of get bigger. We want that number to get smaller. And that’s why we’re introducing this public service campaign to help educate people about the dangers.”
Attorney General Doug Peterson says the problem often grows after a person is prescribed powerful pain relief.
“I think the notion was, well gee, that took care of my knee surgery, but you never know when I might need a pain reliever down the road. Fact of the matter is that’s pretty dangerous and you need to get those out of the cabinets and properly disposed of.”
DOSE OF REALITY – Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Nebraska – is supported by the Nebraska Broadcaster Association and the Nebraska Press Association which have agreed to spread the message. A minimum of $312,000 worth of radio and television public service announcement will be broadcast statewide over the next 52 weeks. The Press Association Board will urge members to engage in the public information campaign.
Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Pharmacy Association, Nebraska Hospital Association, CoalitionRX, and the Nebraska MEDS Coalition will also join the effort. Additionally, the Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska League of Municipalities, the Greater Omaha Chamber, and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, have pledged their support.
The campaign includes two radio and three television public service announcements, half and full page ads, and a new website: www.doseofreality.nebraska.gov.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office will also help in the campaign.
All four agencies were hosts to a fall Nebraska Opioid Summit attended by 300 held at UNMC in Omaha.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]