There is no shortage of ideas about how to create public awareness and solve societal issues like the current opioid crisis across America. For instance, President Trump recently pronounced using a “massive advertising campaign” in response to the opioid epidemic. The question is, will this be effective in lowering drug addiction rates and actually saving lives in Ohio?
Is the Use of Ad Campaigns Effective?
Ohio has been using ad campaigns for years to help spread awareness on the dangers of opioids. However, the drug overdose death rate continues to climb.
The News-Herald reports some Ohio statistics that do not make the President’s new ad campaign look very promising:
- Republican Gov. John Kasich launched his anti-substance abuse “Start Talking” campaign in 2014. This campaign encouraged parents and adults to talk to children about the dangers of drugs and other substances. Over 2,500 people died from overdoses in that same year.
- In 2016, Ohio launched a $200,000 campaign urging people, especially those close to someone addicted, to know the signs of an overdose and obtain an antidote. However, the death rate due to overdose rose to 4,050 in 2016.
- Ohio is now launching a $1 million dollar campaign called “Take Charge Ohio” that will target prescribers, patients, and the public. It will cover TV, online ads, radio, print, and billboards, as well as targeted emails and social media.
Is this latest campaign expected to work? It depends on whom you ask, but many experts believe this is not the most effective way to combat the crisis. Reminders of the 1980s campaign to “Just Say No” are brought to mind. Maybe it will keep someone from getting started down the road to addiction, but awareness campaigns do little to help those struggling with addiction already.
So, What Is Better?
In the same article, experts say that the best defense methods are ones that invoke changes in behavior, not emotional reactions. Scare tactics have proven to be largely ineffective and therefore likely should be avoided.
On the other hand, one of the most effective ways to change behavior is through comprehensive, professional addiction treatment.
With treatment, you can find ways to leave the drugs behind and win the battle with your addiction. Helpguide.org describes some of the benefits of treatment and how it can help you reset your mind and behavior.
- Help you deal with stress in positive ways.
- Help you decide which associates are healthy to have in your life.
- Help you make good choices for your free time.
- Help you think more positively about yourself.
Much More than an Ad Campaign
Ad campaigns do offer some benefits. They can start conversations or open the door for awareness. However, someone already involved in drug use and addiction needs much more than a billboard or social media blurb.
Treatment is the most effective way to make a real difference and save thousands of lives. With treatment, all aspects of your life can be addressed in a compassionate, non-judgmental manner. Addiction rarely comes alone, and it impacts jobs, relationships, health, and your well being.
Recovery is an ongoing process that starts with addiction recovery. Follow-up and commitment are essential and the right treatment center can provide appropriate aftercare support to help you stay on your recovery journey.
Find Help Today
If you are struggling with addiction, please do not wait to get help. At Recovery Village Columbus, you will find a team of compassionate, professional addiction specialists who will work with you to design and implement a treatment program that will address your individual needs. Do not hesitate. Call us today to learn about admissions and take the first healthy step toward a life free from addiction.