The New Day Campaign Creates Statewide Naloxone Awareness Campaign for State Health Department

Published: February 1, 2017

The New Day Campaign announces its first new project of 2017 – a statewide public awareness campaign produced for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The “Be a Hero” campaign is part of the state health department’s efforts to end the current opioid overdose crisis in our state. The campaign uses photos of everyday citizens and first responders to show Marylanders in their daily lives that anyone can use naloxone to save a life and that it works. The naloxone campaign is composed of transit ads and billboards across the state. Transit ads are currently in place on 68 buses around the state and 12 bus shelters in Baltimore. Billboard ads – a total of 13 in highly visible locations – will be in place by March 1.

Significant increases in the number of people with addiction to opioids (driven largely by the surge in addiction to opioid-based prescription pain medication) + the stigma of addiction = A local and national opioid crisis that is killing people at an unprecedented rate, increasing with every new report. We are in a public health emergency. Opioid is a class of drugs that includes heroin and prescription pain relievers like oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lortab®), oxymorphone (Opana®), hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), morphine (MS Contin®), fentanyl (Duragesic®), and methadone. The New Day Campaign was hired by the state because of its unique ability to use art to challenge the stigma and discrimination of mental illness and substance use, making the world a more healing place.

Naloxone (Narcan®) is a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid pain medication like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, or methadone.  Naloxone (NARCAN®, EVZIO®) is a prescription medication that safely and effectively reverses an opioid overdose.  Naloxone is also known as Narcan, which is a brand name. Naloxone comes in 2 formulations for public use: muscle injection and intranasal, or through the nose.

You, or someone you know, may be at risk for an opioid overdose. Using prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, or drugs such as heroin and fentanyl can lead to an overdose. With naloxone on hand, you will be equipped to respond and prevent death from an overdose. Individuals who attend a brief and free training will receive a certificate allowing them to access naloxone. With a certificate, you can get naloxone from any provider or at a pharmacy without a prescription.

“There are people in our city dying of overdose at nearly twice the number of those dying from homicide. Around the country, there are more people dying from overdose than there are dying from car accidents. If there were tens of thousands of people dying from any other disease, we would have declared it a public health emergency of epic proportions. Imagine if tens of thousands of people were dying of Zika, or tens of thousands of people are dying of measles—we would be doing everything we can to address it. But unfortunately there is so much stigma surrounding addiction and there is so much misunderstanding about the nature of addiction, we as a society have not understood it to be the disease that it is.” – Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City health commissioner, in Mother Jones, January 25, 2017