COLUMBUS, OH (STL.News) United States Attorney David M. DeVillers announced today the Fentanyl in Narcotic Drugs Awareness Project (FIND Awareness Project), a messaging campaign aimed at warning the public that any drug cut with fentanyl is deadly.
In 2020, at least 84 percent of overdose deaths in Franklin County involved fentanyl. From January through June 2020, overdoses increased more than 73 percent when compared to the same time period in 2019.
The FIND Awareness Project includes billboards that will be placed in the Columbus zip codes experiencing the highest rates of overdose deaths. The billboards warn users of the recently increasing prevalence of fentanyl in stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine and in pressed pills like street Oxy and Xanax.
Targeted social media ads and sites will link individuals to a treatment database searchable by community, overdose statistics, information about law enforcement initiatives and outreach, and a way to report suspected drug activity.
“We will go after the cartels from every angle, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute high-level drug dealers,” U.S. Attorney DeVillers said. “At the same time, we also hope to reduce demand for their products by encouraging people to save their lives and seek treatment. Addiction does not have to be deadly.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office created the campaign with funding from the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and assistance from Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.