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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Joins First Responders To Introduce Statewide Public Awareness Campaign To Prevent Heroin Abuse
 

“We will suffer the loss of our son to a Heroin overdose for the rest of our lives,”

Carol Buege of DeForest said.  “Never assume that your child is immune to drugs.  This project is badly needed to inform kids and parents of the dangers and heartache of Heroin and it gives me a small measure of peace knowing that we're helping others stay alive.”
 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is joining local law enforcement, first responders, community leaders and others in Sheboygan, Appleton, Wausau and Eau Claire to introduce a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent Heroin use.  The multimedia campaign, The Fly Effect, was developed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to educate teens, young adults and others about Heroin and the consequences – potentially deadly consequences -- of using this highly dangerous illegal drug. 

 

“Law enforcement, health care providers, and first responders already know that Heroin is a major issue confronting our state,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.  “It is my goal to educate young people, and those who care about young people, about the dangers of this illegal drug so they never experiment with it, and so we can put a stop to this epidemic before it takes another life,” Van Hollen said of the campaign.

 

The campaign theme – The Fly Effect -- is inspired by the nursery rhyme “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly,” which is used in the campaign’s TV spot, available here.  The song’s escalation and spiral parallels the unexpected and uncontrollable spiral associated with Heroin addiction.

 

As part of the campaign, former users as well the parents of former users – some of whom have passed away from Heroin abuse – share their personal stories to illustrate the devastating impact of Heroin on addicts and their families.  Law enforcement, community groups, families and others are encouraged to view and to share these videos in their prevention efforts. 

Click here for personal video testimonials. (Click on the names below for the respective videos)

 

Julie Berg lost her son, Tyler, to Heroin in February of 2012.  “Sometimes we are planted in the darkness to be a light.  Awareness is critical.  Warn your children of Heroin’s deceptive power, and remind them it can look as innocent as a pill,” Julie said.  “The minds of Heroin addicts are altered; it takes a supernatural power to bring them hope.  I'm thankful The Wisconsin Department of Justice has listened and responded to our cry.  I pray my story sheds a splash of light and may the healing begin.”

 

“Citizens all over Wisconsin are alarmed by the rising use of Heroin that has struck their communities,” Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, whose daughter has struggled with addiction, said.  “They are concerned with the crime and hardship that comes with this powerful drug and they realize there is a need for action.  Not only is Heroin abuse destroying families, it is a burden on law enforcement and our court system, and it has implications for our economy.  I have heard from countless business owners around Wisconsin who are frustrated because they are unable to find employees to fill positions because they fail drug tests.  With help from the Attorney General, the Legislature, the Governor and agencies affected by this latest drug epidemic, we can battle this problem.  Through collaboration and swift action we can improve the lives of Wisconsin citizens and our communities as a whole,” Nygren said.

 

“We will suffer the loss of our son to a Heroin overdose for the rest of our lives,”

Carol Buege of DeForest said.  “Never assume that your child is immune to drugs.  This project is badly needed to inform kids and parents of the dangers and heartache of Heroin and it gives me a small measure of peace knowing that we're helping others stay alive.”

 

“Heroin is a drug that affects all kinds of people, in every aspect of life,” Lisa Brum, whose son has struggled with addiction, said.  “We all need to be informed on how this does affect them and be more proactive in stopping the use of this terrible drug, and helping those who are addicted to it.”

 

At TheFlyEffect.com, visitors are prompted to make a series of decisions related to Heroin, all of which are designed to illustrate the painful, and often devastating, choices associated with abuse. 

 

For the last several years, Heroin trafficking and Heroin use have risen dramatically throughout Wisconsin.  In 2005, twenty-two counties submitted Heroin cases to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab.  By 2011, the number of counties submitting Heroin cases increased to 37.  In 2012, fifty-six counties – representing every part of Wisconsin -- were making Heroin submissions to the lab.

 

Additionally, the Sheboygan and Wausau Police Departments applied for and received grant awards from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to further implement their multi-disciplinary approach to fighting Heroin abuse in their respective communities.  Sheboygan received $17,000 in grant funding; Wausau received $25,000 in grant funding.  More information about the application process is available here.   

 

Visit TheFlyEffect.com for more information about Heroin, personal stories and treatment resources.  Downloadable materials (including posters, brochures, fact sheets and other resources) from The Fly Effect also are available at the DOJ’s website at www.doj.state.wi.us

 

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