Why Campaigns Fail to Prevent Opioid use (and What to Do Instead)

Many well-intentioned health communication campaigns fail to stop opioid use because their messages aren’t relevant to the audience. Just putting a commercial on television doesn’t guarantee that audiences will change their behavior. So, how do we ensure that opioid use prevention campaigns are effective? Rescue President & Executive Creative Director Jeff Jordan explains in this educational video.


Key Moments

0:59: To understand how to use behavior change marketing to combat the opioid crisis, Jeff provides a refresher on just what it is and how it works.

2:03: When we look at opioid use prevention, there are three key pathways to behavior change. Listen in as Jeff explains what those are.

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3:17: If we look at some of the original opioid use prevention campaigns, you’ll find scary messaging like “if you take this, you will die.” Jeff explains why this isn’t effective in changing behaviors and what you can do instead.

3:55: Rather than just telling audiences the negative effects of opioids, we need to fill gaps in their knowledge about what opioids are, are prescriptions considered opioids and more. Jeff highlights the common gaps in knowledge audiences have and how to approach them.

6:01: Changing knowledge is about more than just increasing risk awareness. Learn how you can use public health campaigns to motivate true behavior change.

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8:10: When getting on opioid use prevention campaigns, the first question we must ask ourselves is: Who is our audience and what message do they need? Jeff dives into how you can segment your audience to craft compelling messages that appeal to their unique values, attitudes, and beliefs.

12:12: Jeff introduces our Decision Blocks Framework, which helps us understand who our audience is and what we need to change to motivate them to engage in the healthy behavior. Tune in here to learn more about how this model works.

17:36: Learn about opioid use prevention campaign “Over the Dose” and see why it effectively motivates young adults who recreationally use opioids to change their behaviors by filling in knowledge gaps. See an example ad from this campaign.

22:47: Jeff shares three pieces of information you need to know to develop effective opioid use prevention campaigns.

If you’d like to learn more about how we created “Over the Dose” and see the results of this campaign, check out the “Over the Dose” case study on our website.


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