As families celebrate the holiday season, the Stop Opioid Silence campaign is launching a renewed push in Texas to empower people to break the stigma and shame associated with opioid use disorder and begin the road to recovery.
With support from three members of the Texas Congressional Delegation, Stop Opioid Silence encourages residents struggling with opioid use disorders, as well as their families the opportunity to share their stories of addiction and recovery.
“Drug addiction impacts Americans from all backgrounds, races, and socioeconomic levels,” said Congressman Van Taylor (Texas District 3.) “In fact, more than half of all Americans know someone impacted by opioid abuse alone. Some of the most heartbreaking constituent meetings I’ve had have been with families who have lost a loved one to addiction. Through joining the Stop Opioid Silence (SOS) movement, I hope to encourage those dealing with this crisis to seek the support they need. Together, we can help those suffering from this crippling and deadly addiction.”
Opioid use disorder and opioid related death is a growing problem in Texas. The state had 1,458 opioid related deaths 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These deaths continue to impact Texans across the state – urban and rural communities. As families come together this holiday season, the SOS campaign is a safe forum for people and their families to speak up about their struggles to help themselves and others.
“I was honored to be a part of this campaign to shed a light on the opioid crisis affecting so many communities across the country, including in my home state of Texas,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (Texas District 29.) “We must do everything possible to ensure that people suffering from the opioid crisis “no longer suffer in silence because of societal stigma. They deserve better.”
Facebook is supporting the Stop Opioid Silence campaign by running ads to encourage people to speak out about the crisis. The Facebook ads connect people to information and resources, featuring videos from a bipartisan group of the Texas Congressional Delegation, including Reps. Michael Burgess (Texas District 26), Taylor and Garcia while offering a safe forum to share their stories about addiction and recovery.
“The holiday season can be particularly emotional and lonely for individuals and families struggling with addiction. By sharing the stories of people impacted by opioids, we not only raise awareness of the magnitude of this crisis but we also help to shatter the silence that surrounds this disease and prevents so many from getting the help that they need for themselves or a loved one,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, executive vice president of external and government relations at Center on Addiction + Partnership for Drug Free Kids. “We are proud to be working with Facebook as well as the members of the Texas Congressional Delegation to reduce stigma and shame and connect Texans to resources and support.”
Stop Opioid Silence was created by Facebook and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids + Center on Addiction – a leading national nonprofit working to transform how the nation addresses addiction. The organizations have teamed up to launch stopopioidsilence.org and a “Get Help” messenger bot which connects people all over the country, including Texans, with information about addiction and treatment, recovery and support resources in their state.
Kevin Martin, vice president for U.S. Public Policy at Facebook stated, “Facebook is proud to be working on such an important campaign with Representatives Van Taylor, Michael Burgess and Sylvia Garcia. By using the Facebook platform to bolster the Stop Opioid Silence campaign, Partnership for Drug Free Kids is able to reach so many more people in Texas and across the country affected by this epidemic.”