Today, the Administration unveiled the first set of public awareness ads to combat the opioid crisis. This first set of ads is focused on preventing young adults, ages 18-24, from misusing or abusing opioids. This campaign was created in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative. The Ad Council has a 75-year history of effective and iconic public awareness campaigns, and the Truth Initiative has a proven track record of changing youth health behaviors.
The first four ads, which are based on real life, tell the graphic stories of four young adults going to extreme lengths to maintain their prescription opioid addiction. These ads show young adults how quickly opioid addiction can occur, and the extreme lengths to which some go to continue use of drugs while in the grips of addiction. This will be the first of many ad campaigns from this Administration targeted to different audiences and varying aspects of the opioid crisis.
On day one of his Administration, President Donald J. Trump made combatting drug abuse and the opioid crisis a focal point of his Administration’s agenda. In 2016, this crisis took the lives of 116 of our fellow Americans every day. This means opioid overdoses were responsible for killing more Americans than vehicle crashes, gun violence, or breast cancer. More than two-thirds of people in treatment for prescription opioids reported first using them before they were 25 years old. As we have said from the beginning, tackling this crisis will take a whole-of-government approach, and the Trump Administration remains committed to working with Congress, State, local, and tribal officials, and other important stakeholders to end this crisis once and for all.
This campaign is another critical step in the Trump Administration’s effort to combat drug demand and the opioid crisis. The President’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse, which he announced on March 19, 2018, will help to reduce drug demand and save lives through education and awareness and by preventing over-prescribing, cutting off the flow of illicit drugs across our borders and into our communities, and expanding access to evidence-based treatment.
To view the ads and learn more about the campaign to combat the opioid epidemic, visit opioids.thetruth.com.