MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — State leaders are launching a campaign to bring awareness to the dangers of fentanyl in Alabama.
It’s a yearlong initiative called “Odds Are Alabama,” referencing the odds that if you buy illicit drugs off the street or online, there’s a chance they will be laced with fentanyl.
The campaign hits home for Lauren Littlefield, who lost her brother Chase last April after he unknowingly took a pill that had fentanyl in it.
“He was being a curious 18-year-old boy and took something given to him by a coworker,” Littlefield said.
Littlefield is now sharing her family’s experience so no one else goes through it.
“I mean, he had no idea. Just took one pill, one time, to completely change our lives forever,” Littlefield said.
Several statewide organizations, including the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Medical Association of Alabama, spoke about the devastation even minuscule amounts of the synthetic opioid have brought to communities.
Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson warns against taking any pill not prescribed by a doctor.
“If you don’t get a medication from a legitimate health care provider or pharmacy, the odds are it could well be laced with fentanyl and perhaps even a lethal dose,” Williamson said.
Dr. Bobby Lewis works in the Emergency Department at UAB Birmingham. He says the department sees several deaths a week from overdoses, and it’s not just among drug addicts.
“Even though we’d like to think our family, our friends, our kids, our grandkids are safe. If they’re out mixing with these people and sampling these drugs, they are not safe at all,” Lewis said.
Those with the “Odds Are Alabama” campaign say they’ll be rolling out social media posts and PSAs to get the word out.