Vancouver Police have released a new public service announcement aimed at raising awareness about the risks associated with illicit drug-use among young adults and youth.

“We wanted to do something related to the fentanyl crisis that would make young people stop and think,” said Simi Heer, Director of Public Affairs, VPD. “Awareness is key, especially at a young age, when you’re making decisions that could impact the rest of your life.”

The project was made possible thanks a grant and hundreds of thousands of dollars of pro bono work by TAXI Vancouver and its partners.

The public service announcement aims to highlight the realities of casual drug use and moves away from traditional messaging around fentanyl. “Educating teens about the dangers of drug use has unique challenges. We are very pleased with the concept created by TAXI and are grateful for the talented professionals who worked on this campaign because they thought it was an important message to tell,” adds Heer.

In 2017, fentanyl claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people in B.C. Traces of fentanyl have been found in drugs such as Molly, cocaine, and counterfeit prescription drugs, like Xanax – drugs that are currently popular with teens.

“We were really grateful for the opportunity to partner with the VPD to work on a campaign that carries such an important message to ultimately help save lives. Our goal was to ensure the message would resonate with a younger audience so our tone was key as we wanted to open their eyes to the reality of the situation.”