WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump Administration has announced a new public service ad campaign to warn young people about the dangers of opioids, following calls from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to do so at the Cleveland City Club in April. In his speech, Brown called for a comprehensive, coordinatedand sustained public health campaign, including a targeted public ad campaign modeled on successful anti-smoking efforts. The White House is partnering with the Truth Initiative, which Brown specifically held up as an example in his speech.
The White House announced Thursday the campaign will involve digital and television ads telling stories of young people who have struggled with opioid addiction, including an ad featuring a story of a young Ohioan who, as a result of addiction, intentionally crashed her car to secure more opioids. Brown says he wants to see more details and results, but the partnership with organizations that have a positive track record on tobacco is a good start.
“The public ad campaign is an important first step in addressing the scourge of opioid addiction, especially in young people,” Brown says. “I’ll be looking to the Administration to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of this first round of ads, and it’s critical that we build on this initial campaign by also investing in evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery to effectively combat the opioid epidemic in a comprehensive way.”
In his speech, Brown said a comprehensive, coordinated and sustained public health campaign should consist of three parts: Education and prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Following his address at the City Club, Brown also joined Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to introduce bipartisan legislation to address the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis. The Senators’ bill, the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act, would combine existing grant programs at the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a six-year pilot project to combine job training and addiction recovery services.