A group of Ohio’s congress members are teaming up with a campaign to break the stigma tied to opioid use disorder to help with recovery.
The congressional delegates are: U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as U.S. Reps. Bill Johnson (R-OH-06), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), Troy Balderson (R-OH-12) and David Joyce (R-OH-14).
They are partnering with the Center for Addiction, Facebook and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to for the “Stop Opioid Silence” campaign.
More information on the campaign is here, including a “Get Help” messenger bot which connects people all over the country, including Ohioans, with information about addiction and treatment, recovery and support resources in their state.
Ohio has been especially hard hit by the ongoing opioid crisis, with over 4,000 residents dying each year from opioids, according to a joint press release by the congressional members. As the holiday season begins, the Stop Opioid Silence campaign is launching a push to empower people to break the stigma and shame associated with opioid use disorder and begin the road to recovery.
Ohio has been at the center of the opioid epidemic as the state with the second highest percentage of opioid related deaths, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along with efforts at the state level, a bi-partisan group of federal officials including the Ohio delegates are supporting the Stop Opioid Silence campaign to inspire Ohio residents to share their stories and speak up for themselves or family members in need of help.
Facebook is supporting the Stop Opioid Silence campaign by running ads to encourage people to speak out about the crisis. During the holiday season, ads connect people to information and resources, while offering a safe forum for Ohio residents to share their stories about addiction and recovery. These resources include videos of the congressmen and senators.
“Our communities are in crisis right now as more and more Ohioans of every age suffer from addiction,” Portman said.
Brown said, “Eleven Ohioans die every day of an opioid overdose, and we must be doing everything in our power to fight this public health crisis on all fronts.”
Marcia Lee Taylor, Executive Vice President of External and Government Relations at Center on Addiction, said, “The holiday season can be particularly emotional and lonely for individuals and families struggling with addiction. By sharing the stories of people impacted by opioids, we not only raise awareness of the magnitude of this crisis but we also help to shatter the silence that surrounds this disease and prevents so many from getting the help that they need for themselves or a loved one.”
Kevin Martin, Vice President for Public Policy at Facebook, said, “Facebook is proud to be working on such an important campaign with bipartisan Congressional support including Senators Portman and Brown and Congressmen Johnson, Davidson, Balderson, and Joyce, that reflects the best of what a community can do.”
The following links connect to videos filmed by each of the congressmen and senators:
- Sen. Rob Portman
- Sen. Sherrod Brown
- Rep. Bill Johnson
- Rep. Warren Davidson
- Rep. Troy Balderson
- Rep. David Joyce
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.