The Washington State Department of Health is launching a statewide campaign this summer, aimed at curbing opioid abuse.
The radio and internet ads include compelling personal accounts and testimonies from families of opioid addicted patients.
The theme of the campaign is "It only takes a little to lose a lot." The focus is also on the over-prescription of opioid medication. Funding came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ads will target mostly rural counties where the opioid epidemic is more rampant.
"Sadly we have not seen a decrease in the number of opiate-related deaths in our state," said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer for the Washington State Department of Health.
"But we also haven't seen an increase either," she said. "Many states have seen an increase. Clearly we're not doing as well as I'd like, but it could be worse."
Nationally, more than 1,000 people receive treatment in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids every day, according to the CDC.