In an attempt to dissuade people from using fentanyl, a Canadian funeral home has come up with an innovative campaign for its community. Launched by Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services in British Columbia, the campaign features a photo of a white family gathered around a casket with the tagline, “Will fentanyl be the reason for your next family get-together?”
Lawrence Little, the company’s founder told Times Colonist that New Year would see the remaining campaign unfold. In an event planned by the funeral home, people will see a hearse while entering. “The back door will be open with a casket and police tape. There will be a chalk outline of a body, a tipped-over pill bottle, and a syringe,” he said.
However, the campaign has not gone down well with some people. Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner of British Columbia, said that her agency did not support these so-called “fear-based initiatives” as this kind of propaganda gave rise to and supported stigma and discouraged people from seeking help. “In the long run, compassion and support, including prescribed medical treatment where appropriate, will be much more effective in turning this crisis around than fear and shame,” she said.
Past research showed that campaigns that deployed “fear-based antics” remained ineffective. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) campaign in the United States elementary schools is a case in point—it did not yield its desired results, as more children started using drugs post completion of their course. Just like the “scared straight” programs, which also could not keep children away from committing crimes; it rather encouraged them.
Fentanyl, a looming threat
The menace of fentanyl is not limited to the U.S., it has spread to other countries, like Canada, where overdose deaths have become quite common. A highly lethal drug, fentanyl is responsible for widespread opioid overdose deaths.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), heroin overdose deaths had tripled in 2016—primarily due to fentanyl cutting into other drugs like cocaine and heroin. Moreover, between 2012 and 2015, deaths caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl increased by 264 percent in the U.S., reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). States bordering the U.S. are also witnessing a steady increase of fentanyl-related deaths, which has put the authorities on high alert.
Whether it is an opioid or any other substance, chronic and severe addiction is always fatal. The only way to deal with it is through treatment at the earliest. If you have a loved one grappling with an addiction, seek immediate help at a credible rehab in your vicinity.
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