Photo: Contributed
Photo: Contributed

White House, Truth Campaign launch opioid education ads

The Trump Administration is partnering with the Truth Campaign and the Ad Council to launch a series of digital and television ads aimed at educating young people about opioids and preventing new addictions. 

Truth was the group behind past tobacco cessation campaigns they say prevented 1 million young people from beginning to smoke cigarettes. The spots were often provocative including one in which young people dumped body bags outside the office of a tobacco company.

“Truth has a long-established track-record,” said Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump and the head of the administration’s response to the opioid epidemic. The group has the trust of youth, she said, and knows how to communicate with them. 

RELATED: Ohio schools aren’t following guidelines for drug education

The campaign, which the Ad Council said could end up being about a $30 million effort, is being largely funded through donated time by the council and Truth to research and create the ads, as well as donated media space by partners including Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube. 

The campaign is launching with four ads that depict true stories of young people who went to extreme measures to obtain opioids in order to feed their addictions. 

One of those ads, “Amy’s Story,” features a young woman from Columbus, Ohio who purposefully wrecked her car to get more pain pills. 

“Misuse starts among young people,” said Robin Koval, CEO of Truth. Even though people of all ages are impacted by opioid addiction, the group chose to focus on prevention where addiction starts, with young people who are experimenting, sharing pills and sometimes being prescribed opioids for the first time due to injuries. “We want to stop filling the funnel from the top,” Koval said. 

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