Arizona is betting on shock value to keep teens from abusing opioids.
The state is spending more than $400,000 on an anti-opioid campaign that features 30-second scare ads depicting a teenager trapped inside an opioid pill and a bottle of pills beside a lifeless hand. The campaign’s tagline, “Getting in is easier than getting out,” seeks to educate teens about how quickly people can become ensnared by addiction.
“It kind of has a horror movie feel to it,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, according to The Arizona Republic. She said the campaign, tied to state legislation, “had to be graphic, and it had to show the law enforcement consequences of opioids.”
The ads run on social media and music streaming sites and direct viewers to a teen-oriented website that discusses the risks associated with prescription painkillers and street drugs, the Republic reported. The spots echo the message of four scare ads, featuring real-life stories of people who became addicted to opioids, unveiled by the White House last June.
“That’s the least expensive thing we can do, where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials,” President Donald Trump said in March while discussing steps his administration was taking to combat the epidemic.