The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has launched a media campaign aimed at preventing misuse of prescription opioids among teens.
State public health officials hope the ad campaign will inspire parents to talk to their teens about how slippery the slope from prescription pill abuse to heroin and Fentanyl addiction can be.
"We're trying to address the front-end of the epidemic, and stop the use and misuse of prescription opioids by teenagers," Department of Public Health spokesman Tom Lyons said in an interview.
The ads, which were launched on International Overdose Awareness Day, will appear online, on TV and on billboards across the state.
Nearly 80 percent of Americans using heroin reported using prescription pain relievers first, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
State data show last year about 2,100 people died of opioid overdoses in Massachusetts, including more than 200 in the four western counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire.