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July 5, 2023

Best Practices for the Use of Social Media in Opioid Overdose Prevention: Lessons Learned from Previous Public Health Campaigns

This paper highlights social media and the impact it has on young people’s lives. The paper aims to show how social media influences people’s attitudes toward public health campaigns and describes current evidence regarding the role of social media in shaping attitudes and beliefs related to adolescent opioid use. The paper also explores how social media can address the issue of fentanyl poisoning among youth in America. Social media users interact with others as they form new connections with people and stay in touch with friends and family. In addition, many youth connect with strangers online, contributing to what they see and interact with online. Social media plays a positive role by raising awareness to positive issues, but unfortunately, it is also used as a pathway to negative experiences. Social media platforms have provided new means for people to obtain illegal drugs outside traditional street transactions and because of the ease of accessing substances online, youth are particularly vulnerable to fentanyl poisoning. This paper highlights opportunities to address the opioid crisis, particular among youth, by using social media campaigns. The paper also reviews past social media public health to provide an understanding of what has not worked in the past to avoid ineffective and harmful campaigns and highlights evidence-based strategies to yield more successful public health campaigns.

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