Health professionals, former addicts say new PSA is good for opioid addiction awareness

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida Department of Children and Families released a video Thursday that encourages families and friends of those with an opioid disorder to purchase and keep naloxone in case of an emergency.

The department hopes to minimize the unsafe use of opioid drugs.

One victim of the epidemic told WCTV, "I was prescribed so much medication, that a horse would've been knocked out. But here I was 105 pounds taking 37 pain pills a day that was just ridiculous."

She said she ended up getting addicted to the pain medication and, although she is clean now, she believes that carrying naloxone is a smart option.

"Yes it may cause some to be more careless but it will save so many more. It would bring more good than harm, that you kind of got to outweigh the pros and the cons on this one," she said.

Tanya Renn from the FSU College of Social Work agrees, saying, "There's low risk so if it was injected at the incorrect time or if someone got a hold of it it's low risk to anybody else that could access it, but life-saving to those who would need it."

Mark Fontaine, Director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, added, "It's getting to be best practiced that people that are using opioids to also have the medication in case there is an overdose."

However, Fontaine says people need to proceed with caution.

"Most opioids are legal prescriptions. So a lot of the problem is because people end up overusing those legal prescriptions, they abuse those legal prescriptions or somebody else is using there prescription," he said.

By getting educational tools out into the public, those who were once addicted hope that it can help others.

"Lawmakers are really trying to get a handle on it, they've recognized how big of a problem this truly is," said the victim of the epidemic.

As another victim sayed, this is a problem that will take a community to overcome, "As long as there's a fight left in you. You got to fight to stay addicted you got to fight to stay well. And I'm living proof that you can."

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