We often look to other states for inspiration when it comes to promoting recovery. And Indiana is becoming a shining example of how to properly address and de-stigmatize addictions. Their local government recently allocated $8 million towards a new series of PSAs, all designed to educate the public about opioid dependencies.
Titled “Know The Facts,” the new initiative includes a series of videos, billboards and social media efforts; all with the purpose of spreading awareness. What we like about this particular initiative is the fact that it is voiced with a caring and supportive tone (as opposed to other PSA’s we’ve seen that take a much harsher stance). One of the key terms throughout all of the ads is the word “Hope” and reinforcement that things will get better.
Indiana’s executive director of drug prevention, Douglas Huntsinger, spoke to the press about the campaign, which officially kicked off late last month.
“Stigma often creates issues when we’re trying to put treatment into communities,” Huntsinger explained. “It causes shame for individuals who are trying to seek help and are suffering with addiction and substance use disorder. It’s really important that we understand how we can go about changing those attitudes and so this campaign is really focused on exposing all Hoosiers to individuals who have found treatment and who have entered into recovery.”
Facebook happens to be where a lot of the initial “Know The Facts” efforts are being concentrated. The state recently launched a special page devoted to the movement, which has already picked up several hundred followers. Multiple PSAs have already been published on their feed, including a moving video below that combines real stories with impactful animation.
“Know The Facts” also has a comprehensive web site, with links to recovery resources and articles about de-stigmatizing addiction. There are even interactive activities that teach visitors how properly address issues like opioid disorders. Another nice touch is a full Resources page within the site, where users can download images and videos for sharing across social media.
The hope, of course, is that a movement like this can help shift the mindset around dependencies and the true disease of addiction. Emphasizing care and empathy is extremely important when it comes to influencing someone towards a recovery program.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also made a point to speak out about the initiative, pledging his full support to combating addiction issues throughout his state.
“There’s a lot of work involved in trying to attract the change in attitudes,” Holcomb added. “Our goal is to create a baseline of understanding in the community and then to see that change in a community whether that’s from surveys or community outreach events.”