Lift The Label

Lift The Label

Opioid addiction is a health crisis that continues to escalate. In 2016, an estimated 2.1 million Americans were addicted to opioids including both prescription opioids and heroin. In Colorado, data from 2017 shows 558 deaths related to opioid overdose, totaling 55 percent of all of the state’s drug poisoning deaths. The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health tasked Amélie with dispelling the many stigmas around opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder, with the end goal of encouraging more people to seek treatment. We introduced “Lift The Label,” a public awareness campaign aimed at creating a community of compassion around opioid use disorder through stories from Coloradans in recovery. We interviewed 15 Coloradans about their own harrowing experiences with opioid addiction, the stigmas they faced, and how they ultimately overcame them and found recovery. We used these stories via TV and digital video to increase awareness that addiction to opioids is a brain disorder and share that there is hope for recovery. To demonstrate the magnitude of the opioid crisis, we also created an ambient opioid memorial wall constructed of 4,200 pill bottles, each representing 10 Americans lost to heroin and prescription opioid overdoses in 2016. Every bottle has an anti-stigma message to encourage hope and recovery. The Office of Behavioral Health unveiled the wall during a campaign launch event at a public park in downtown Denver. The wall was later transferred to the Colorado State Capitol building, where it could be seen on display through the month of May. The campaign garnered the attention of both local and national media outlets, resulting in more than 90 million earned media impressions during the months of May and June. Ultimately, the campaign encouraged people in Colorado and beyond to “lift the label.”