Idaho’s fentanyl awareness campaign received 60M views, ad firm says

Idaho Behavioral Health Council hears updates on anti-drug campaign, approves funding priorities for fiscal year 2025

By: - August 11, 2023 5:42 pm

The Idaho Behavioral Health Council heard updates on a state anti-drug campaign Friday. Idaho’s fentanyl awareness campaign, “Fentanyl Takes All,” was seen or heard over 60 million times.(Courtesy of the DEA)

As Idaho leaders prioritized how to spend money combating opioid addiction and abuse on Friday, they heard that Gov. Brad Little’s media campaign reached a wide audience and Idaho youth appear to see fentanyl as more of an issue than in the past.

Idaho’s fentanyl awareness campaign, “Fentanyl Takes All,” was seen or heard over 60 million times, Drake Cooper CEO Mindy Stomp told the Idaho Behavioral Health Council on Friday in the Idaho Supreme Court Building in downtown Boise. 

She said the campaign, which ran from January to May 2023 and featured stories of families who lost loved ones to fentanyl, performed better than industry benchmarks, relying on a mix of paid media placement online, on broadcast radio and TV, billboards and paid search.

“All it takes is one fake pill,” one billboard read. “All it took was a loving son,” another read. 

One video, broadcast on TV and Facebook, showed traces of white powder smaller than a ladybug. “The amount of fentanyl that can kill you,” read the text superimposed on the screen.

Ads aim to reach all Idahoans on dangers of fentanyl

Most of the funds — 51% at $147,500 — were spent on reaching Idahoans aged 12-24 years old, Stomp said, while another 31% was to reach caregivers and parents and 18% was focused on reaching all Idahoans. The campaign had 21.7 million impressions from younger Idahoans, she said.

“Your ad’s involvement and engagement was phenomenal,” Rep. Brook Greene, a Boise Democrat and member of the behavioral health council, told Stomp after the presentation.

The campaign appeared on 60% of all searches about fentanyl in Idaho, the presentation said. 

The budget for phase two of the campaign is being evaluated, the presentation said. The campaign’s first phase was funded by Little’s emergency funds, a press release said, while the Legislature approved opioid settlement funds for the campaign’s second phase.

“Improved outreach, education, and awareness about the dangers of fentanyl is one part of our multi pronged strategy to turn the tide on the deadliest drug our society has faced. I’m very pleased the first phase of the campaign is working so well to increase awareness about how fentanyl can truly take everything from you,” Little said in a news release.

Young people in Idaho also increasingly see drug use as a “big problem” in teens and young adults in Idaho, according to a set of surveys conducted in November 2022 and May 2023 by Idaho-based survey firm GS Strategy. 

The group interviewed 104 Idaho teens, 205 Idaho young adults and 214 Idaho parents. GS Strategy Partner Robert Jones said the firm looked for double digit increases to show that opinions had changed. 

Here’s some key findings:

  • The number of young adults who reported seeing drug use among young people as a “big problem” rose 10% between both surveys. 
  • More young people reported knowing more about fentanyl during that time, with rates rising 22% for teens and 20% for young adults. 
  • More young people said they were concerned about fentanyl, with 16% more teens and 23% more adults saying they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned.

State council approves opioid funding priorities

The Idaho Behavioral Health Council also voted to prioritize four top priorities for spending from the state’s opioid funds: prevention, treatment for behavioral health issues, recovery services, and professional development around behavioral health.

“The biggest challenge our health care system faces across the state right now is workforce, and enough workforce to provide the services that we need,” Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said.

Millions of dollars to combat opioid abuse are coming to Idaho

Training other medical providers on how to intervene with less acute behavioral health problems would help meet demand amid Idaho’s shortage of mental health providers, said Dr. David Pate, former CEO of St. Luke’s Health System. 

“We’re not going to make any of these doctors substance abuse experts. That takes a lot of training,” Pate said. “… But if you can help them to manage other things, hopefully we can recruit more behavioral health professionals” to treat more complex conditions.

The council’s recommendations go to the governor, who recommends a budget to the state Legislature each year. The council advises Idaho on how to spend the state’s portion of opioid settlement funds, which is 40%. 

The priorities apply to fiscal year 2025, which begins July 2024.

Jeppesen said the state anticipates receiving about $2 million in funds each year. 


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