Trump administration launches ad campaign against opioid abuse

President Donald Trump's administration on June 8 announced a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing opioid addiction among young people, CNN reports.

Five takeaways:

1. The campaign's first four ads highlight true stories illustrating the extreme lengths young adults have gone to to obtain painkillers, including scenes where young people are smashing their hands or arms, wrecking their cars or breaking their backs.

"We hope these ads will spark conversation to educate teens and young adults to talk to their doctors about alternatives to opioids; that pain management may not always mean extended pain medication use; safe disposal practices for leftover, unused prescription; and also, to arm them with specific yet very simple knowledge about opioids," White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said after the campaign announcement.

2. During his first year in office, President Trump developed a commission to study ways the government could curb the opioid epidemic. Last fall, the president also declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency.

3. The White House previously has run similar anti-drug campaigns through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including former first lady Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign to address the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1980s and the "Above the Influence" campaign.

4. This campaign's 30-second ads were produced in partnership with the Truth Initiative, the Ad Council and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The ads are expected to air on television and digital platforms. Most of the funding for the ads came from private partners, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, NBC Universal and Amazon.

5. These first four ads are the beginning of a larger awareness campaign, the Trump administration said. The first four ads are directed at 18-to-24-year olds. Future ads will target those ages 15 to 34.

"Raising awareness is a key piece of defeating the threat of opioid addiction, which too many Americans still do not fully understand," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement obtained by CNN. "These ads are a targeted effort to promote awareness, especially among our youth, about the deadliness of opioid misuse and the risks of opioid addiction."

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