The belief that casual drug users are immune to the risks of opioid overdoses is a fallacy. Drug users who consume black market products outside of the opioid family - including cocaine - should also be aware they too are at risk.
Created through the Thunder Bay Police Service's Zone Watch program, the Know Your Drugs campaign aims at addressing these very myths. Three video Public Service Announcements make up the campaign's centrepiece. The goal of these videos is to educate the public about the dangers of synthetic opioids, like Fentanyl and Carfentanil, and to begin a discussion about how these substances are increasingly being found in other black-market narcotics.
Unlike many awareness campaigns commonly referred to as "anti-drug" PSAs, the Know Your Drugs campaign takes a non-judgemental approach. The video PSAs are designed to deliver a light message before altering tone to discuss a very serious issue. We do not intend to shame or belittle users, instead the Know Your Drugs campaign is an ice-breaker to start an open and honest dialogue about drug use. Zone Watch members hope this open discussion allows users, or would-be users, to re-consider their decisions.
PSA 1: This is a Moose
PSA 2: This is an Orange
PSA 3: This is Cocaine
Opioid-related overdoses and deaths are on the rise across the country. It is impossible to measure the purity of black-market synthetic opioids like Fentanyl, so there’s no way for a user to know if they’re consuming a potentially fatal dose. There’s also a growing worry that other black-market narcotics could be contaminated with unknown levels of Fentanyl or Carfentanil.
If someone you know is abusing street drugs or struggling with addiction, encourage them to seek help. Concerned about drugs in your neighbourhood? Call the Thunder Bay Police Service at 684-1200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.p3tips.com.