[Webinar Recap] Communications to Promote Treatment for OUD

In a recent webinar, we discussed how to cut through the misconceptions about Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and promote treatment options. In part 1 "[Webinar Recap] Communications to Reduce Fentanyl-related Overdose," we provided key takeaways for developing public health campaigns to reduce fentanyl-related overdose. In this part 2, we’ll dive into how you can develop communications that effectively promote treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

Research Insights: Many Adults Don’t Know about the Facts about OUD Treatment Options

In 2021, we conducted 16 in-depth interviews with adults ages 25-64 in Illinois who were exhibiting 2+ symptoms of OUD, with an emphasis on residents of the South Side or West Side of Chicago, BIPOC, and illicit opioid use (e.g., heroin) in the past 12 months. Audience insights include:

  • Some adults don't believe they have OUD and, therefore, think treatment is irrelevant to them.
  • Many adults are unfamiliar with treatment options for OUD.
  • Many adults with OUD don't know how it impacts their brain chemistry and how medication-assisted treatment works.

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Strategic Approach: Make Treatment Feel Realistic, Relevant, and Desirable

We deploy our Decision Blocks™ framework to reduce gaps in knowledge about health consequences. Decision Blocks help us create messages that are “realistically scary,” showing the audience relevant health consequences that they believe could actually happen to them.

To promote treatment services for OUD, we first establish the needed foundational knowledge about how opioids work and what treatment is for. Then, we show the value of treatment options like Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and how MAT is relevant to them. Finally, we can start to provide actionable next steps they can take.

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Example: “Break It Down” Presents Treatment Options for OUD

“Break It Down,” part of our ready-made campaign “People’s Opioid Project,” explains how difficult it is to tackle addiction alone and shows the benefits of MAT. By empathizing with the challenges of OUD, we can help reduce the stigma associated with opioid use and seeking treatment to encourage audiences at-risk for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) to take action.

Read more about our approach to creating public health campaigns that help prevent fentanyl-related overdoses.


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