Finding a way forward in the opioid crisis.
What we did:
Can state entities really impact the opioid crisis?
Absolutely. But they can’t do it alone.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
It’s no small irony that the quest for physical or mental relief has created so much pain in people’s lives. Where it’s prescription opioids, counterfeit pills, or fentanyl, even as the issue mutates, the opioid crisis continues to destroy individuals, shattering families and communities.
Fractured messaging doesn’t help.
While there’s a lot of good information out there, it comes from all directions and multiple entities. Realizing a central resource was needed to address an everchanging range of concerns, we created Know the Dangers.com. for the State of Minnesota. This consumer-friendly website has grown from an educational platform for synthetic drugs education to offering opioid information, recovery resources, cultural community content, and much more.
From the pharmacy to the street.
As though prescription opioid abuse isn’t bad enough, counterfeit pills have emerged as an even greater threat. Seemingly overnight, fentanyl began appearing everywhere – a potent, toxic agent used to make stronger, cheaper drugs. Which drives overdoses. Which requires Naloxone (AKA: Narcan) to save lives. Interrupting this cycle of pain meant informing people at pharmacy counters and across social media platforms. To target younger audiences, we formatted our messaging for Snapchat, where fake pills are often trafficked to unsuspecting kids.
Taking an inside-out approach.
Authentic stories aren’t found in conference rooms. They exist beyond our comfort zones, in the lives of ordinary people. In many cultural communities, storytelling is a path to insight and understanding. Before we could begin to address anything as volatile as the opioid crisis with these audiences, our first job was to listen.
Innovation meets cocreation.
When the creative process is liberated from ad agency walls and a “not invented here” mindset, exciting things happen. Partnering with community members, local artists, influencers, and cultural experts, we strove to produce messages that were specifically relevant to their own communities.