Motivating Consumers to Understand Prescription Opioid Dangers

Empty Pill Bottles

Increasing awareness and fostering behavior change are core principles of any public health campaign. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health recently sought to do just that – around the topic of the dangers of prescription opioids. “In 2016, 115 people died each day from an opioid overdose and 11.5 million abused prescription opioids.” Yet, research by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), found that most people really didn’t know about the dangers of prescription opioids to themselves and their family members.

Recognizing that you must go where your audience is, CDC partnered with a communications firm to create a digital campaign of thirty-second, emotionally-driven YouTube advertisements. The stories were told first person and each video opened with “Prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous” and ended with “It only takes a little to lose a lot.” Post-launch analysis found that viewers of the advertisements (aged 25 to 34) were 24% “more likely to be aware that prescription opioids can be dangerous.”

But that wasn’t all. Leveraging technology from CSIP Partner, Google, and the Think with Google initiative, the NCIPC team utilized Google Search Lift to measure the searching of those who viewed the videos compared to those who didn’t. Those who saw the advertisements “were over 46% more likely to search for “opioid” terms.” Being able to look at search behavior gave a measurable value for showing if the campaign resonated enough with viewers to make them want to know more.

Addressing the opioid epidemic requires a multi-faceted approach that puts people at the heart. Understanding where customers are at, and where they need to be to improve their health, is essential to creating positive impact and improving the well-being of families. CSIP is proud to work with Google, and all our partners, to leverage resources and create systems that better educate and protect consumers.

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The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and our 10 member companies have the shared goal of helping address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet. Continue to read this blog for updates on CSIP’s education, enforcement and information-sharing efforts.