WASHINGTON DC (December 10, 2019) — A national campaign on Facebook designed to empower people to break the stigma and shame associated with seeking treatment for opioid-use disorder begins today with a video campaign featuring Senator Charles "Chuck" Grassley. Stop Opioid Silence, which organized the campaign, offers Iowa residents struggling with opioid-use disorders, as well as their families the opportunity to share their stories of addiction and recovery.
“Too many American families and communities have been devastated by the opioid crisis. Many of us know someone who struggles with addiction or have had a loved one suffer from an overdose. In Iowa, synthetic opioids and heroin have led to more than 200 overdose deaths annually in recent years. There are many ways we can work to overcome the opioid crisis, but one of them is to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and openly discuss issues of drug misuse with those who can help us. I applaud Facebook for using its voice to spread the message that we can’t stay silent about the important issues of opioid abuse and addiction,” Sen Grassley said.
Opioid-use disorder and opioid-related death are serious issues across the country, including Iowa. Iowa’s public and private efforts to combat opioids abuse to-date have started to pay dividends, as the number of Iowans using and dying from opioids decreased 33 percent from 2017 to 2018. Despite this progress, however, there remains a stigma associated with admitting to addiction and seeking assistance. The Stop Opioid Silence campaign focuses on this issue and provides a safe place for Iowa residents struggling with addiction to share their experiences.
Facebook is supporting the Stop Opioid Silence campaign by running ads to encourage people to speak out about the crisis. The Facebook ads connect people to information and resources, featuring videos with Sen Grassley, while offering a safe forum to share their stories about addiction and recovery.
Stop Opioid Silence was created by Facebook and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Center on Addiction, a leading national nonprofit working to transform how the nation addresses addiction. The organizations have teamed up to launch stopopioidsilence.org and a “Get Help” messenger bot which connects people all over the country, including Iowans, with information about addiction and treatment, recovery and support resources in their state.