It didn’t take last week’s story about a couple who overdosed on heroin in a car with a child in the backseat to move the broadcast industry to action on the abuse of opioids (prescription painkillers and heroin). But it did put an exclamation point on a new initiative unveiled in conjunction with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
Tens of thousands of people are dying annually in what the Department of Health and Human Services calls an epidemic.
HHS this month pledged $53 million to “improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders, reduce opioid-related deaths and strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts.” Those are the same goals broadcasters are pursuing with their multi-front public interest effort.
We applaud broadcasters for those efforts and urge them to air those PSAs in every market at times when young people are watching. It is a sobering message, but a vital one.