A new campaign from the Ad Council and
Platforms Inc. is encouraging parents of teen and young-adult children to speak to them about the dangers of fentanyl.
Drug overdose deaths reached a record high last year, in part because of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is often found mixed into heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, but it also shows up in counterfeit versions of commonly prescribed medications such as Percocet, Xanax and Adderall.
The nonprofit Ad Council produces public-service campaigns in the U.S. that cover subjects such as Covid-19 vaccines, racial justice and gun safety and use time and space donated by media outlets. People ages 13 to 24 often cite stress and anxiety as common reasons to misuse prescription medicines, but many aren’t familiar with the risk of fentanyl being added to counterfeit pills, according to the Ad Council.
“Fentanyl is becoming more prevalent, overdose deaths are becoming more prevalent, and kids and parents don’t have the information,” said Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council.
The campaign, which is set to roll out Wednesday, includes videos of parents having conversations with children about the risks of fentanyl. In one, a father says he is “about to go drop the F-bomb” with his daughter. The videos will initially appear on Meta social-media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The Ad Council also aims to expand the campaign beyond Meta platforms, including with digital display ads on other websites.
The campaign is partly designed to help parents overcome any reluctance they might have about discussing substance use with kids, according to Ms. Hillman.
“They really have to do it immediately, because it just takes one time for something to happen,” she said. “The amount of stories that we’re all hearing in our communities is just increasing every day.”
The campaign encourages parents to visit a site called dropthefbomb.com, which includes facts about fentanyl, tips for having conversations and instructions on using naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.
The campaign aimed at parents follows an earlier effort from the Ad Council speaking to kids directly about the dangers and prevalence of fentanyl, along with other initiatives related to the opioid crisis and drug use. Next, the Ad Council plans to educate 18-to-24-year-olds about the benefits of carrying naloxone.
Write to Megan Graham at email@example.com
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