New anti-heroin PSA to air during 2016 Super Bowl - KMOV.com

New anti-heroin PSA to air during 2016 Super Bowl

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A local agency responsible for airing a jarring commercial about drug use during the 2015 Super Bowl is filming a new PSA for next year's big game.

St. Louis viewers who expected a series of lighthearted commercials during the NFL championship earlier this year got a surprise when a dramatization of a teen overdosing on heroin to the sound of an upbeat jingle graced their small screens.

A spokesperson with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) said staffers did not consider how upsetting the PSA would be to certain individuals. Following its airing the agency received 19 letters from angry viewers, most of whom had lost a loved one to heroin and felt the commercial made a mockery of their deaths.

"The group of people we were not trying to reach were the people who had already been affected...lost someone," said NCADA executive director Howard Weissman. "We were trying to reach people that didn't know we had a heroin epidemic."

Despite the backlash from some, Weissman said the commercial's reach exceeded the organization's wildest dreams and raised awareness.

The upcoming commercial won't be as provocative, but Weissman said it will be just as powerful.

Film crews have already started shooting the new advertisement, which will feature Lafayette High School's pom pom squad.

Last year 400 young people died from heroin overdoses in the St. Louis area, one reason Weissman said another PSA is much needed.

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