CDC Division of Overdose Prevention
Lending a helping hand for the treatment of substance use disorder.

Addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. But too often, people experiencing substance use disorder are dehumanized or misrepresented. Stigma surrounds people with substance use disorders, creating barriers to treatment access and outcomes. Our work with the CDC on this campaign aimed to address this obstacle.

Our spot takes a deeply complex issue and boils it down to its most fundamental elements through first-person narrative. In order to infuse humanity into the spot without perpetuating stereotypes, we decided to tell the story through hands. A colorful handmade world backdrops the characters and serves as a platform where the recovery journey takes place.

The PSA successfully addressed inclusive representation without stigmatizing viewers/audiences.

A sticky note that reads: Recovery from addiction doesn't look the same for everyone.
Billboard that reads: Recovery: Recovery from addiction doesn't look the same for everyone. cdc.gov/overdose
Bus stop ad that reads: Recovery: Recovery from addiction doesn't look the same for everyone. cdc.gov/overdose

Digital, OOH and social content led with a pop of color and a dual type treatment. The inclusion of a folded and long kept sticky note with handwritten text connects the personal touch embodied in the encouraging message on the note.

Facebook ad that reads: Recovery: Recovery from addiction doesn't look the same for everyone. Learn More cdc.gov/overdose

The campaign is empathetic, relatable, and a reminder that recovery is a unique process for each person. One rooted in research and executed with the tact and creativity needed to resonate with an often misrepresented audience.

Recovery ads on a website.
Recovery fact sheets