Fentanyl Awareness Campaign is Successful in Reaching Teens and Young Adults

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Prince William County launched its Fentanyl Exposed Campaign in July to reach at-risk youth and young adults to teach them of the risk of fentanyl overdose. The campaign has proved successful.  

The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness amongst teens and young adults about the threats fentanyl poses, show how those threats are relevant to them, and to increase knowledge of fentanyl and fentanyl-laced substances such as illicit pills and powders. The campaign’s aim was to reduce the risk of overdose from the deadly drug that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.   

The Fentanyl Exposed campaign featured the following: 

  • A teen-centered website that included key information about the risks of fentanyl, and ways to prevent overdose and overdose death. 

  • A social media campaign that reached teens on frequented and relevant channels with fentanyl and naloxone educational information. 

Results showed that the campaign was successful in effectively communicating with teens in the greater Prince William area who are impacted by fentanyl; and that teens were most engaged in learning what to do in case of overdose and wanted to learn more. Results also showed that the campaign reached susceptible teens who had not yet tried drugs and early experimenters. 

“We are very pleased with the Fentanyl Exposed Campaign, which was targeted to increase teens’ awareness, perceived relevance, and basic knowledge around the risks of fentanyl and how to reduce risk of overdose,” said Executive Director of Prince William Community Services Lisa Madron. “Not only did the analysis show that the campaign exceeded targets, demonstrating that the messages were reaching our intended audience, but that teens were engaged and learning. This campaign heightens awareness for teens regarding fentanyl and teaches them how to save a life through the use of naloxone.”   

The campaign, which included Spanish-language messaging, delivered more than six million impressions to teens in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Impressions are how often content appeared on users’ screens. Campaign messages and videos appeared on connected TV, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat and the website.  

The campaign presented an Instagram poll that asked teens if they had heard of Naloxone, the life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. Of the 1,323 who responded, 63 percent, or 830, had not heard of naloxone.  Once they were aware of Naloxone, 51 percent of teens said they would carry the fentanyl antidote, 12 percent said they might carry Naloxone and 38 percent said they would not.  

Through tracking comment replies, message agreement or disagreement, whether other users were tagged, personal stories and questions, among other metrics, showed that the campaign reached its target audience.  

“Like many communities across the nation, Prince William County is not immune to the dangers of fentanyl and fentanyl overdoses,” said Prince Willilam County Executive Christopher Shorter. “I’m very proud of the work and initiative of the staff to help address this issue, and in the success of the Fentanyl Exposed Campaign. One of the county’s prime objective’s is to ensure residents’ safety. This campaign does just that through outreach, education and understanding.”  

For more information on the dangers of fentanyl and what to do in an overdose, visit the campaign website at FentanylExposed.com or watch the videos below: 

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