A group of doctors at the University of Alberta have come up with a unique way to educate the public about opioids after noticing a disturbing trend.
They noticed they were harvesting more organ donations from young people dying of overdoses.
In Alberta alone last year, over 400 people died from fentanyl overdoses.
Wanting to combat the problem in a thoughtful way, the group came up with “Doctors Against Tragedies,” a twist on a the popular game “Cards Against Humanity.”
“We wanted to do something creative, innovative, and not based on fear,” Dr. Michiko Maruyama said. “We go to a donor harvest and when it’s a young individual, same age as myself or even younger, it is so hard to see.”
Cards Against Humanity challenges players to complete fill-in-the-blank statements using words or phrases typically deemed offensive, risqué or politically incorrect printed on the playing cards. The maker of the card game gave its full support for Alberta doctors’ idea.
Maruyama wanted to use the game’s unconventional approach as a platform to discuss the myths and misinformation surrounding fentanyl.
“Instead of having posters that show dead bodies or families crying over a lost loved one, we turned it into a card game,” Maruyama said.
There are two versions of the cards, one for school-aged kids and a second with course language that is meant to appeal to young adults and at-risk youth.
“This is the language that they use so it’s the language that we’ll use to have that conversation about fentanyl,” Maruyama said.
“Doctors Against Tragedies” is on display this week at the University of Alberta. The group plans to take the cards to schools around the city and use them as teaching tools.
LISTEN: Dr. Michiko Maruyama on the Ryan Jespersen show on 630 CHED
The cardiac surgery resident and industrial designer poured her talents into the project ,also working on a drug education program for kids based on the popular Minecraft game.
The group plans to leave decks of cards on as many tables as they can, in pubs, coffee shops and campuses.
“If any of our games saves one life, it is absolutely worth it.”