BOSTON (CBS) – A new public awareness campaign on trains and buses statewide is the latest effort to prevent the opioid crisis.

It’s called “Resist The Risk” and it in features powerful images like a baby in the hospital with the words “the first weeks of my life were spent in detox.”

“The point of these images was to grab people’s attention to get them thinking about this,” said Acting US Attorney William Weinreb.

“Resist The Risk” opioid awareness ad (WBZ-TV)

The US Attorney District of Massachusetts and DEA New England Field Division are sponsoring the campaign, which kicked off this week. It includes four different ads that will be on MBTA buses along with Red and Orange line trains.

The campaign is already drawing criticism from a local doctor.

“Showing a consequence that’s scary that might happen to somebody years down the line is not effective for youth,” said Boston Medical Center Doctor Richard Saitz.

Boston Medical Center addiction specialist Dr. Richard Saitz says the ads may be counterproductive and drive addicts away from treatment.

“Resist The Risk” opioid awareness ad (WBZ-TV)

“If they could simply stop drug use and resist the risk they would. They can’t, they need help to do so, they need treatment,” said Dr. Saitz.

Acting US Attorney William Weinreb is defending the program saying the ads are geared toward informing young people about the dangers of opioids.

“Our message is directed at a different population, people who are not already addicted, but people who are thinking about using pain pills recreationally,” said Weinreb.

The Acting US Attorney admits the ads are stirring up controversy, but points out it’s getting the conversation going on the topic.


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