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Groups to launch anti-stigma campaign after spike in opioid deaths in Iowa

The synthetic opioid fentanyl was linked to nearly 29 percent of all overdoses in 2016,...
The synthetic opioid fentanyl was linked to nearly 29 percent of all overdoses in 2016, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.(Source: CNN)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:44 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Local organizations that deal with substance abuse-related matters will be launching new initiatives to help combat opioid deaths in Iowa, according to officials.

The Area Substance Abuse Council and the Linn County Board of Health Opioid Steering Committee will be utilizing funding from a grant through the Iowa Department of Public Health and related federal agencies for the project, which will include media campaigns, training, and encouraging other methods that support healthy behavior and decisionmaking to prevent opioid use and overdoses.

The media campaign will focus on reducing the stigma surrounding addiction, according to officials. It will use ads placed on radio, newspapers, social media, and digital media to encourage people to “see the person, not the addiction.” The goal is to get people to reconsider beliefs about addiction which could lead to increased treatment.

Deaths from opioid-related causes jumped 35% in 2020, according to data from the IDPH, to 212 Iowans which outpaced the previous record-holding total of 206 in 2017. Officials said that over 75% of those deaths in the state were related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

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