The “Drugs, Not a Victimless Crime,” public awareness campaign focuses on the fact that there are many victims of drug use: the user, the family unit, our youth, our safety and society.
The campaign was born out of the Yavapai County Overdose Fatality Review Board. Since 2016, the Yavapai County Overdose Fatality Review Board has been meeting to review overdose deaths in Yavapai County. The primary goal of the Board is to determine strategies that can be implemented to reduce these deaths. A key component of the review process is speaking to family members of the decedents.
One family interview was with the parents of “John.” John was a 26 year old young man who died in 2018 of a heroin overdose. During the family interview, John’s mom and dad talked about the pain that they felt when John’s death was described as a “victimless” crime. They identified themselves as victims of John’s death.
Pondering this interview, members of the Overdose Fatality Review Board discussed the many victims of drug use. Unintended consequences of drug use include accidental drug overdose death, impaired drivers, child neglect and abuse, family violence and human trafficking. Illegal drug use funds cartels who continually commit acts of violence. Homelessness is also often linked to drug use.
The “Drugs, Not a Victimless Crime,” campaign consists of multiple images that show these unintended consequences associated with drugs. The campaign will use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms to promote this message. Currently a “Drugs, Not a Victimless Crime,” billboard is up at the intersection of State Route 69 and Highway 169.