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Special Project

Special Project
From the 4th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Treatment Box

Gold Honor in Public Health


As a long-time youth brand that has earned the trust and love of young people, truth® was uniquely positioned to address a new threat to America’s youth: the opioid epidemic.

And as a trusted youth tobacco prevention brand for two decades, truth® was uniquely positioned to partner with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council to address this threat to America’s youth.

In 2017, more than 520,000 opioid prescriptions were dispensed daily, which works out to 259 million prescriptions – enough for every single adult in America. That flood of pills overflowed into young people’s lives and culture: music, shows, and the parties and social gatherings where young people hang out. 

We set out with two goals in mind: educate our audience about the risks of opioid addiction and destigmatize addiction.

We needed to close the knowledge gap around opioids so young people would be informed of the risks, but simply stating the facts wouldn’t be enough. To make a meaningful impact on our audience, we needed to show a real, human story of opioid addiction. 

Strategy and Execution

1 of 5 young adult deaths are due to opioids – the tragic end to a long battle with addiction. To prevent addiction in the first place, we had to shift two audience perceptions: opioids aren’t that addictive and addiction won’t happen to me. 

Because the most likely to develop addiction are those who have taken opioids in youth, we focused our efforts on 18-34 year olds nationally. 

“Treatment Box” brings us along the journey of 26-year-old Rebekkah’s opioid detox. We filmed Rebekkah 24 hours a day in a private treatment center that we built from the ground up with green screen walls and cameras. Then, we replicated the dimensions of her detox room, while incorporating a live-feed of passersby in New York City. This created the illusion that Rebekkah, herself, was detoxing before viewers’ eyes in public, bringing Americans face-to-face with her story in an unignorable way. Our campaign gained national attention, sparked conversation, and changed perceptions of opioid addiction.

Rebekkah’s story educates our audience about the dangers of opioid addiction on a more raw, human level while illustrating the harsh reality that addiction can happen to anyone: a family member, friend, or even you.


Treatment Box brought young people inside a live opioid detox to help them realize that addiction could happen to them. 

The campaign garnered 35MM+ videos views. With 1.5MM+ social engagements, Treatment Box beat out truth’s next best comparable campaign by 145%. 

8 weeks post-launch, our audience showed 1) a 36% increase in agreement with the statement “Anyone can become addicted to prescription opioids” and 2) a 46% increase in agreement with the fact that “Opioid dependence can happen in just five days.”


Video for Treatment Box

Entrant Company / Organization Name

truth, 72andSunny, Assembly, Ad Council, ONDCP