The Ad Council is rolling out a new public awareness campaign with the support of tech companies and leading public health organizations to combat the nationwide overdose epidemic.
The campaign will launch in the summer and encompass two components, the nonprofit announced Monday morning.
The first initiative will target teens and young adults through a creative campaign helmed by JOAN and supported by tech companies like Meta, Google, and Snap. Going forward, Meta’s Creative Shop will also continue its work raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl by embarking on a new campaign to highlight the risks for parents and caregivers.
The second initiative will involve leading public health organizations and targeting adults facing substance abuse disorders by offering them resources to start their recovery journeys. The Ad Council said both efforts will feature public service announcements as well as “platform-specific activations and robust ground game components” like faith-based programs, trusted messenger strategies and open-source toolkits.
The Ad Council’s campaign was announced less than a week after new provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 2021 was the deadliest year on record for overdose deaths in the U.S. More than 107,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021 and overdose deaths have risen by 50% in the last two years.
Social media is a critical tool for the Ad Council’s approach to addressing the overdose crisis and giving people adequate resources to navigate the dangers of illicit drugs, the nonprofit noted.
“There is so much that people don’t know about the substances they are using, including fentanyl, along with their potentially catastrophic effects,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council, in a statement. “Through these new campaigns, the Ad Council is taking on one of the biggest issues facing our nation to bring lifesaving awareness directly to those who need it.”