Public service announcements now airing on television and a new 33-foot billboard placed in the Bronx
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that two new public service announcements are now airing on television stations and music streaming services across the state in an effort to warn residents about the dangers of synthetic drugs and prescription opioid abuse. This is the latest in New York’s multi-pronged effort to combat drug and prescription opioid abuse.
“These PSAs spread the simple message that these drugs are harmful, addictive, and simply not worth it,” Governor Cuomo said. “This administration will continue to do everything in our power to combat opioid abuse in New York as well as take on the emerging threat of synthetic drugs in our communities.”
The first new PSA (view here) features young people who describe the serious health dangers of synthetics and advises others to stay away from synthetics. The second PSA (view here) features a young athlete explaining how a sports injury led to his addiction to pain pills with the message, “Don’t let addiction sideline your dreams.” Both PSAs are airing this month on stations across the state.
Also as part of the new campaign, a 33-foot billboard stating, “Synthetic marijuana can kill!” is now posted on 167th Street and Southern Boulevard in the Bronx (view here), and similar posters will be posted in subways, bus shelters and other locations in the New York City area. Billboards also will be posted at select malls around the state.
“New York State is at a crossroads,” Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “Now is the time to stamp out synthetics and to rid our communities of the harms of heroin and addiction to prescription opioids. These new campaigns bring home the message that help for addiction is available in all areas of our state and recovery from addiction is real and possible.”
The campaign aims to inform New Yorkers and push back against the following trends:
- New York State has seen a more than an eightfold increase this year in emergency department visits (4,700 between April 1 and Sept. 3) related to adverse health effects due to synthetic drug use, including psychiatric emergencies, rapid heart rate and death.
§ 45 percent of people who used heroin were also addicted to opioid painkillers.
§ Prescription opioid admissions have risen 41 percent statewide between 2005 and 2014.
Find help below:
- If you think someone has used a synthetic drug, call the New York State Regional Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. In a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
- To report the illegal sale of synthetics, call 1-888-99-SALTS.
- New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (467369).
Visit www.combatheroin.ny.gov for information about addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.