Harwich Resident Participates in State Opioid Addiction Awareness Campaign

drugsalcoholHARWICH – A Harwich resident is taking part in the state’s public awareness campaign aimed at educating parents about the warning signs of opioid abuse.

The campaign began Wednesday and will run throughout the summer on television and online.

One of the ads features Harwich resident Janis McGrory, who lost her daughter, Liz, at age 23 to a heroin overdose.

“People deserve to understand the dangers of prescription drugs and how easy it is for children to become addicted,” said McGrory.

“Our Liz mattered. She was a wonderful daughter and sister. Removing the stigma of addiction, education and treatment of the disease is critical.”

Another ad warns that the abuse of prescription painkillers can lead to heroin addiction and overdoses.

The “Stop Addiction In Its Tracks” campaign is meant to educate parents about the warning signs of opioid misuse as part of the Commonwealth’s preventative strategy.

“Education is an essential part of the cure for this epidemic, starting with parents and their children who are the most susceptible to not understanding the dangers associated with the misuse of prescription painkillers,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“This campaign is about keeping our children safe from the grip of opioid addiction by working to prevent drug use before it begins.”

The $800,000 cost of the campaign was funded through a federal grant to the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for the purpose of educating parents about opioid use.

The state has launched a website that will feature the ads, and will be a hub to guide parents on how to best talk to their children, explain treatment options and provide assistance to those seeking help.

“If you think it can’t be your kid, think again,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

“With this messaging, we are impressing on parents that the road to heroin could start with what is left in our own homes and medicine cabinets.”

For more information, go to mass.gov/StopAddiction.

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