Ohio Legislator Starts Personal Media Campaign to Battle Opioid Epidemic
Earlier this week, I spoke with Ohio Rep. Al Landis about a media campaign he has started to bring attention to the opioid crisis in his legislative district and spread a message about prevention. He calls it #gotyourback. He asks people to post on his own personal Facebook page a picture of themselves back to back with a friend and the words “I’ve got your back! It’s what friends do. Help your friends say no to drugs.”
The campaign springs from his growing alarm about the opioid crisis in Ohio.
“The state is losing eight people a day to overdoses and is, unfortunately, on track to have 6,000 fatal overdoses this year,” Landis told me.
Landis credits Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for bringing his attention to the opioid epidemic. The Ohio AG just filed a law suit against five prescription opioid manufacturers alleging that they deliberating misled patients in their advertising about the risks and benefits of using their pain medicines. See the ABC News story here.
“I want to convey a message of hope, strength and unity,” Landis says. In Tuscarawas County, 25 miles south of Canton, he has enlisted the Anti-Drug Coalition and the 4-H to support his campaign as well as local school principals and teachers.
Landis says he believes it is important to pick an action that you can follow through on, to focus on winning a battle. He wants teens especially to hear messages from their peers that they have better things to do than get involved with drugs.
Landis’ next step in his personal battle again the scourge of the opioid epidemic in his district is to develop a dashboard that will help people know where to go for help.