Project Opioid to launch advocacy program in Central Florida

Goal is to prevent overdose deaths amid latest COVID surge

Project Opioid teams with Seminole Sheriff's office to address rise in overdose deaths

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Project Opioid, a Florida-based initiative team that works alongside the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, is set to introduce a new advocacy campaign next week, according to a news release.

Deputies said “The Everyone Campaign” will partner with Clear Channel Outdoor to host events over the next 100 days to urge those struggling with synthetic opioid addiction to seek help.

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The program will also detail the dangers of opioids, like fentanyl, which is the source of over 86% of drug overdose deaths in the state, a number Central Florida has seen rise over the recent COVID spikes, according to officials.

“Central Florida is experiencing an unprecedented number of overdose deaths from fentanyl and the figures are increasing daily. With the recent surge in COVID cases due to this new variant, we must ensure while we continue to deal with the pandemic, we also make sure that those struggling with dangerous substances do not lose their lives due to societal disruption,” Andrae Bailey, founder and CEO of Project Opioid, said in a news release. “There is an (urgency) for advocacy that will protect our youth and save lives.”

The campaign aims to “mobilize new resources, increase overdose awareness, drive policy changes, and reduce overdoses in the community” as well as stop street drugs from getting into the wrong hands for the benefit of younger and older generations alike.

The sheriff’s office said the campaign is set to feature “billboards, social media, and in-person events” to combat opioid use and death.

A news briefing will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18 so Project Opioid Central Florida Co-Chair and Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma can offer more information on the program.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.