Trump Promised Anti-Opioid ‘Scare’ Ads. Here Are the First 4


This is your brain on opioids.

While not explicitly stated, that’s essentially the message the Trump administration is deploying in its initial anti-opioid ad campaign, which seeks to keep young adults from becoming dependent on the addictive medications.

The campaign, unveiled Thursday, stresses that dependence on opioids can happen after just five days and is based on the Truth Initiative’s anti-tobacco campaign, which the group says has prevented more than 1 million young people from smoking during the past two decades.

It features four 30-second ads that tell the grisly, based-on-real-life stories of people who purposely injured themselves to get opioids after becoming addicted through prescriptions or recreational use. One spot shows a man who breaks his own back to get more oxycodone.

“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 when discussing steps his administration would take to combat the opioid crisis. “And we’ll make them very, very bad commercials. We’ll make them pretty unsavory situations. And you’ve seen it before, and it’s had an impact on smoking and cigarettes. You see what happens to the body; you see what happens to the mind.”

Opioids are the main driver of overdose deaths in the U.S., killing more than 42,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty percent of opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription.

The Truth Initiative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council are collaborating on the campaign. The ads will air on TV and online platforms and are part of a White House opioid-crisis response plan that critics have said has not been aggressive enough, though the government is expected to spend a record $4.6 billion this year fighting the epidemic, according to The Associated Press.

The White House said it would spend $384,000 on the ad campaign, the Washington Examiner reported. The initiative also will reportedly involve donated ad time worth at least $30 million.

27 Responses

  1. Betweem fibromylasha, arithematic, spinbafa hole in my spine +anklosing spondolitis.. all painfull can’t take N-saids becausa iof ulcers I feel like out here all alone!?

  2. Why are we using these scare tactics? They are not the answer to the street drug/poly pharmacy problem. We need to be looking at the implementation of a real solution such as was done in Portugal in 2001. But, the War on Drugs (WOD) is a “Money Cow” worth billions and many government/business entities don’t want the current approach to change. However, we have now kept the same approach to the WOD year after year for 50 years and it has cost us billions in tax dollars. When people continue do the same thing year after year (such as with our WOD) and (supposedly) expect different results, that is a symptom of insanity.

  3. I definitely see that these ads are trying to point to opioid dependence as being the same as opioid addiction. E.g., “Opioid dependence can happen after just five days”. Also, none of the ads (available on YouTube) allows viewer comment. Wonder what they are afraid of. Maybe they are aware of the fact that many people are becoming aware of “The Violation of a Nation” Dossier authored by CiAAG. It is about time for some truth in advertising (and government). Not the old, “Here is your brain on drugs” gimmick again.

  4. The chronic pain patients are suffering from all these lies. The government covered up the fact that they were making fentanyl laced opioids in their CIA bldg in Langley, Va. worth Millions. Yet they continue to blame chronic pain patients for this opioid problem.

    This is just another lie put out by Trump and his Administration.

  5. Why is there no mention of the fire at the CIA Base at Langley, Va., where they found a gigantic drug lab capable of making millions of dollars worth of street opioids laced with fentanyl. Yet they continued
    To blame chronic pain patients for their prescription medication.

  6. I don’t believe for a minute that commercials had any impact on lowering cigarette smoking. Education, enforcement of laws with regards to tobacco purchasing, the invention of vaping, pretty much banning smoking from every public & private place imaginable, etc, is what impacted the numbers! People don’t even watch commercials anymore!! Even if people did watch or pay attention to commercials, addicts in need of help are already past when it might do any good & those who’s addiction is still in waiting or are too young, won’t think it applies to them. These commercials are a collosal waste of resources!!! Instead of wasting the money on commercials that will not help addiction, how about putting it towards actually educating people about addiction, making treatment more accessible & affordable for ALL who need & want it, not just those with $$ or good insurance, streamlining & making the information & access to help & treatment far easier to obtain than the miles of red tape, one brick wall after another, all the “sorry, we can’t help you because…” of whatever bs reason given, and to make long term treatment as available & easy to find as initial treatment should be. Too many people do t understand addiction, which is how the gov was able to manipulate citizens into believing the crap their shoveling surrounding opioids and getting people to support them while they slowly take away patient rights, privacy rights, torture pain patients & drive them to the streets or suicide, prosecute & threaten good doctors, step in between the dr/patient relationship & dictate our treatment, allow pharmacists to act like licensed physicians, to allow insurance (life & prescription) to stop coverage for ppl, etc etc, etc, NONE of this was ever about helping addicts or stopping overdose deaths!! Our government doesn’t GAF about suffering & dying addicts any more than they do suffering & dying pain patients!! It is all about $$$ & control ..always is, was, & will be.

  7. Kolodny gets the CDC Workers whose family members have drug
    Problems to falsify the records, than they quietly release the correct
    Records, no big fan care like before. Doctors, CPP Get blamed for
    Drug addicts who should have informed their Doctors they were getting
    High from their meds instead of the meds just helping to dull their pain.

    In the meantime guns have named & killed a lot more people, but
    Nothing is done about that. Alcohol is still being sold while people
    & Teens are still getting high, Colleges have wild party’s that have
    Binge drinking and young women are being raped, and I am not
    Forgetting the ever present DUI and DWI’S.

    But out Wondrous, Corrupt government has chosen to go after
    Innocent Chonic Pain Patients who have taken their medication for
    Years without any problems, Our Doctors have deserted us & so
    Has our Government.

    But the Drug addicts who the police and the Attorney Generals
    Should have taken care of have decided not to do their jobs at all.

  8. These remind me of Reefer Madness. A church group funded that, but Harry J Anslinger was for it because one time he saw an interracial couple kissing, and they were smoking marijuana. And since Anslinger was a racist, pot had to be made illegal. But actually DuPont and William Randolph Hearst had a lot more to do with it being made illegal because it threatened their profits.

    These ads are scare tactics starring mentally ill drug addicts, and I fail to see any relationship to CP/IP patients, especially Legacy Patients.

  9. These videos are a joke. Reminds me of ” Reefer Madness” Just as ridiculous. HHS and AMA need to push back harder. Has anyone thought about bringing in the experts that set up Portugal, Amsterdam and other countries prescription and street drug programs to be involved in ours? They surely have success stories with a much worse epidemic. (Not that the US would listen) Everyone talks about draining the swamp. We have the ability to do that. It’s called voting. I just can’t understand how the same cronies keep getting voted in.

    • I do not understand why people constantly try to push Portugal’s program. You are talking a small country, with it’s own culture, and trying to implement here. We have 50 states plus DC and territories, all with their own leaders, rules and laws. It is such a politically impossible feat
      Each state has their own pot of money and what is covered in one state may not be covered the same in another. We are so politically split in every aspect of state and federal levels trying to establish a program with continuity will not happen. Every gov entity wants their finger in the proverbial pie, they want to spend that rehab money according to who or what they are. If only it were that simple.

      • I think people point to Portugal bc, they were also losing a decades old “war on drugs”, drowning in drug related crime, disease, deaths, etc, like we are. Yes, they may be smaller but we could still use them as a type of blueprint. They did have the right idea. Their nearly 20yrs history of what the effects were when they decided to put their resources into treatment & helping addicts obtain the treatment they need, & they stopped dumping resources into the criminalization of drugs which, quite frankly, creates street gangs & gives cartels more business, has had huge positive results for them. We don’t have to do exactly what they did, we could implement things based on our differences in size & governmental system. Because of our own history of prohibition of alcohol in the 20’s, our government is already fully aware that prohibition does not help, it makes things worse. It created moonshiners, made the mafia, the crooked politicians & law enforcement very wealthy and did not stop alcoholism or help addiction in any way. Just as with opioid medication, prohibition, criminalization, withholding opioid treatment, etc from pain patients (or anyone) will not help, fix, stop, cure, etc, addiction or deaths from addiction. Anyone who believes that it will, is exactly why we need more education & understanding of, & treatment for addiction! But, you hit the nail on the head in that our gov entities are all about $$ & control. They don’t GAF about people suffering & dying from addiction any more than they do about people suffering & dying from pain. They will never even try to implement anything similar to Portugal on any scale which is why they’ve lied about everything having to do with this so called “opioid crisis”!! The truth would expose them for the greedy lying pos’s that they are. Acting on facts, & education, rather than fear & ignorance would actually help people who are suffering but wouldn’t be very profitable. They’ve used addiction & addicts dying as an excuse to implement harmful policies and violate our patient & privacy rights, gain more control over us, and to enrich themselves.

  10. Steve, are these new ads coming out now or are they from June? I haven’t seen them on tv in quite a while other than the zillion addiction rehab commercials all over the place. Thanks for all you do for our collective cause! Wishing you a Happy New Year !

  11. this is so 110 percent horrible . because of this it will be even harder for people like me to get my meds . this time I had to have a pa that took me into 4 days of withdrawels from my pain meds ! all because of stupid lies and propaganda ! sheesh , what is next . I am disgusted .

  12. Oh they put them on YOUTUBE? That was dumb… excsuse me for a minute… 😉

  13. The wall is NOT going to stop the illegal fentanyl coming in from China. Why do you think we have the Coast Guard. They confiscate more drugs than any gov’t entity. And, there is no 4 billion! Where on earth did you get that idea, not to get political or anything.

    • Ok so where is this 4.6 billion coming from, and who is paying for this? I know chronic pain patients are paying with their very lives. I just lost another pain patient to suicide last night.

    • The drug war is unwinnable because if they cant drive it across it will arrive deep in some 20ft shipping container of an ocean going ship, only a very small portion can be hand searched, they are too big and hold too much. Better would be to use the natural disinterest of providing what the fatally clumsy public CAN HAVE, instead of dangling a big forbidden diamond in their faces. Like Portugal, Sweden and The Netherlands figured out where black markets and associated crime and OD death is almost ZERO. Regards Doctor.

  14. I am so sick and tired of them confusing addiction with dependence. Even the FDA differentiates between the two.

    • That is completely true. I have to explain the difference between addiction and dependence every day!

    • Of course, now we have so-called physicians who trumpet the theory that there IS NO difference between addiction & dependence, like Jane Ballentyne & Killer Klown Kolodny. I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that they have a string of addiction centers & stand to make millions, or billions, from the insane policies they’ve helped to ram thru. Just as I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that the people behind Oregon’s policy of forcing every CPP off all opioids & into using acupuncture & chiropractic are, themselves, acupuncturists & chiropractors. No connection in either case, I’m sure (and how the whole notion of “conflict of interest” has been utterly ignored by everyone in government & the public is a question that I’d really, really love for someone to explain to me).

  15. The 4 billion would be better spent on building a wall to help curb the flow of ILLEGAL drugs into the country. The only ones being hurt the past ten years are legitimate pain patients and doctors. The attack is across party lines, democrats, republicans, they all see attacking pain medication, without concern for legitimate patients, as a win win.

    • The drug war is unwinnable because if they cant drive it across it will arrive deep in some 20ft shipping container of an ocean going ship, only a very small portion can be hand searched, they are too big and hold too much. Better would be to use the natural disinterest of providing what the fatally clumsy public CAN HAVE, instead of dangling a big forbidden diamond in their faces.

  16. 4 Billion dollars? Who has seen anything for the 4 billion spent. How about showing the true stories of cancer patients going to the street to buy heroine because their oncologists are afraid to prescribe opioids and have the government pull their license. Or the TRUE story of the wounded soldier who, faced with having his pain medication (and and semblance of a life) cut due to the CDC restrictive guidelines choosing to kill himself rather than live in unbearable pain. Or my story, a cancer survivor fighting every day to create memories with his family, threatened to have his meds reduced due to the CDC”rules. I don’t want to be remembered as being in pain stuck in bed. To those who, like me support the 2nd amendment; ask yourselves why legitimate law abiding pain patients should be punished because of criminals who steal and obtain drugs illegally.

  17. So now it’s scare tactics!?!? They’ve used fraudulent information for their pushing of this bs with inaccurate statistics. These ads based on true stories doesn’t reveal HOW MUCH they’re based. Like when movies come out based on true events, Hollywood makes it “loosely based” so they can add in their money making schemes for raking in the big bucks.

    This is just as accurate and proper as one making crude sexually derogatory comments about their own child!! This is just as humane, moral, ethical, and mature (psychologically, spiritually, & emotionally) as publicly making “blackmail types of claims” to shut down government if people didn’t vote to pass laws, etc that he has presented for bills on making a wall of division; last I knew…blackmail was still illegal.

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