Written by Nancy Lee, as part of her Social Marketing Sightings theme.
Sighted on: AOL.com
Social Issue: Opioid Overdose
Social Marketing Strategy: Accessibility (Price and Place)
It was announced on the evening news in Washington State that a new strategy was being deployed in one of the state’s counties to reduce fentanyl-related deaths.
“Like other places across the United States, the use of methamphetamine and the emergence of fentanyl have changed the local addiction landscape in Pierce County, inflicting a staggering toll. According to information released by Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department provided by the Pierce County Medical Examiner, there were nearly four times as many fentanyl-related deaths in 2021 as in 2019, and early data from 2022 suggests there’s no slowdown in sight. Opioid-related overdose is now the most common cause of accidental death in Pierce County, outnumbering traffic and firearm deaths, according to the stats. There were more than 150 fentanyl-related deaths in 2021 alone.”
“The machines will distribute the medication — commonly known as Narcan and used in emergencies to reverse the effects of an overdose — for free, to anyone who might need it.
Will the program — which will be one of the first in the state — be controversial? Perhaps. Taking a harm-reduction approach to addiction often is. . . . LaKosky describes the vending machines as another tool Tacoma Needle Exchange can use to help keep people alive and — hopefully, ultimately — help them get clean.”