June 28, 2018
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7000
Georgia Opioid Abuse Prevention Public Service Announcement Released
(ATLANTA) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, in partnership with the Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, has released an opioid public service announcement that reminds Georgians that the opioid epidemic demands the urgent attention of everyone in our community.
“Fighting this epidemic remains our highest priority and we will continue to prosecute criminals who threaten our communities with these dangerous drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “This public service announcement is a renewed call to action to every member in our community to remain vigilant. We must continue to work together – parents, children, teachers, neighbors, stakeholders, businesses and community leaders – to fight this epidemic and save lives.
The Public Service Announcement highlights Joseph Abraham, an 18-year-old teenager from Gwinnett County, Georgia, who struggled with drug addiction from an early age. Joe began using drugs in middle school. Throughout the years, his parents. David and Kathi Abraham intervened and placed him in drug treatment centers for his addiction. On May 26, 2017, Joe lost his battle with drug addiction within minutes after taking a fatal mixture of heroin and fentanyl. Joe is not alone. In 2017, an estimated 1,043 Georgians also lost their lives to opioid overdoses.
“My son has a name and he is more than a statistic. Joe made a mistake. A fatal mistake. One that could not be fixed. Our lives are forever changed because of the opioid problem that is devastating so many families like us,” said Kathi Abraham. “Addiction does not discriminate! The opioid crisis and the rise of heroin use is not purely for people living in the inner city. Silence is not the solution. We must increase awareness, decrease the stigma of addiction, and educate both our parents and our children. It’s up to us to act in order to save others.”
The public service announcement is currently being shown in 17 theaters within the Northern District of Georgia as a reminder of the reality of this epidemic. For additional information and resources, please visit the Dose of Reality website at www.doseofrealityga.org/get-support. To watch the PSA, please click here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/scope-initiative.
This education campaign is part of Operation SCOPE (Strategically Combatting Opioids through Prosecution and Enforcement), which is an initiative launched by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to partner with federal and local law enforcement to fight the devastating effects that illegally-prescribed painkillers, heroin, and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl have on our neighborhoods.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga