Monday, Governor Pete Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson were joined by U.S. Attorney Deb Gilg and UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey Gold as they announced the launch of the DOSE OF REALITY public awareness campaign intended to alert Nebraskans to the dangers of misusing opioid pain medications. DOSE OF REALITY – Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Nebraska, is a statewide campaign designed to bring attention to this important issue and to encourage the community to take action.
“Opioid abuse negatively impacts our kids, families, and communities,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Thanks to the work of the Attorney General and this coalition we are taking a proactive step today to prevent future abuse. Working together, we can keep this public health crisis from plaguing our state.”
DOSE OF REALITY is supported by the Nebraska Broadcaster Association (NBA) and the Nebraska Press Association who have both committed to partner in spreading the message of prevention across Nebraska. The NBA’s commitment to this campaign is for a minimum of $312,000 worth of messages to air statewide over the next 52 weeks. The Press Association Board has voted to support efforts to raise awareness by urging members to engage in the public information campaign launching today.
Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Pharmacy Association, Nebraska Hospital Association, CoalitionRX, and the Nebraska MEDS Coalition have all pledged to spread the prevention message which is a key step in educating about prescription drug abuse and protecting against hospital admissions and deaths from overdose. Additionally, the Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska League of Municipalities, the Greater Omaha Chamber, and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, have come together to help support this effort.
“We are joining forces to work together in protecting Nebraskans from the harmful impacts of addiction and the ravages it can cause to families and futures,” expressed Attorney General Doug Peterson, “Nebraskans are not immune from this problem, we all need to work together and do something about it.”
The campaign includes two radio and three television public service announcements, half and full page ads, and a new website: www.doseofreality.nebraska.gov which contains informational content regarding safe drug acquisition, storage, drug take back as well as direction for those seeking help. Partnering organizations have opportunity to access, utilize and customize campaign materials for their own audiences as they find it beneficial.
The Attorney General’s office has been spearheading the DOSE OF REALITY campaign with support from UNMC, DHHS and the US Attorney’s Office. All four agencies were hosts to a fall Nebraska Opioid Summit attended by 300 held at UNMC in Omaha. The Summit was the first step in the formation of a Summit Coalition who continues to work in the areas of prevention, law enforcement and treatment in addressing the state’s concerns.
“Nebraska is in an enviable position of being proactive, rather than reactive, to the opioid problem,” Dr. Gold said. “By working together, we can avert a public health crisis through sharing information about the risks involved in misusing these medications.”