Media Campaigns Raise Awareness of Opioid Epidemic, Encourage Action

More powerful logo

June 18, 2019 – The opioid epidemic has been devastating to North Carolina, causing an average of five deaths in the state every day. North Carolina leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper, have taken steps over the past several years to address the epidemic in our state. This includes several paid media campaigns to raise awareness around misuse, addiction and overdose.

Recent media campaigns were highlighted at last week’s two-day Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention Summit in Raleigh. These media campaigns have helped North Carolinians learn more about the epidemic and the risks of opioids, and encourage them to help fight this crisis in their communities.  

“Media campaigns can be useful in sharing the message in an engaging and direct way,” said Sara Smith, a communication consultant with the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health. “This has not only increased awareness of the dangers of opioids, but also demonstrated actionable steps on how individuals can make a difference in their communities.” 

The most recent and largest campaign is More Powerful NC. This awareness and education campaign was launched in the spring by NC Attorney General Josh Stein and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and supported by partners including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Atrium Health. The integrated paid advertising campaign is working to raise awareness, provide information and motivate action to address the opioid epidemic. 

Laura Brewer, communications director for Stein, discussed the More Powerful NC campaign during the session and emphasized the message that together, we are more powerful than the opioid crisis, and that we all can and should play a part in taking back our communities from the grips of this epidemic.