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New commercial featuring city leaders targets opioid crisis

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 21:26:16-05

If only it were as easy as just counting down, but the reality is finding a solution to the opioid crisis is far from easy. On a Tuesday afternoon at Tempe Beach Park, a group started filming a public service announcement, educating the community about the problem.

The group knows all about the problem. They're city leaders, council members, mayors, police and firefighters, and health officials. "It's your mom. It's your dad. It's people you just - wow! You would not believe," said councilman Joel Navarro with the City of Tempe.

Navarro is also a firefighter so he sees the crisis first hand on the streets. According to the most recent numbers from the state, 564 people have died in Arizona so far in 2017 from an opioid overdose. The message in the PSA, the numbers are unacceptable.

The crisis is hitting people from all walks of life which actually makes fighting the problem even harder. "It's easier to get people engaged," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "On the other hand, because it's so widespread it also makes it difficult to have target interventions. It requires a broader effort."

Montgomery hopes it will get harder for people to doctor or pharmacy shop for the drug. "This problem is not localized to just one part of the community or just one part of any city or town."

The PSA will be seen on local television stations within the next few weeks.