One in six teens has used a prescription drug – when a doctor had not prescribed it for them – in order to get high or change their mood. To combat this frightening statistic, nonprofit organization The Partnership For Drug-Free Kids planned a new campaign focused on teen medicine abuse.
Padilla was enlisted to help elevate the issue through a multiyear effort. As we delved into the topic, it became clear that this was an under-reported story that demanded a strong wake-up call to the reporters we knew could help influence a turnaround.
Padilla created a strategy to generate conversation among influencers that increased awareness and encouraged people to take action. The Medicine Abuse Project launched a one-week media blitz beginning with the release of new, proprietary research. To improve awareness and use of the report, we created an infographic that made the report more easily consumed and shareable. The week continued with virtual and brick-and-mortar events including a live webinar with A&E Television, an art installation at Grand Central Terminal, and the ringing of the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The week culminated with a Drug Enforcement Administration-facilitated National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The campaign helped drive more than 8,500 people to take the online pledge to stop teen medicine abuse. The Medicine Abuse Project then evolved from focusing on engaging teen influencers to also reaching out directly to teens. A partnership with GenArt linked a budding teen filmmaker with the producer of A&E Television’s “Intervention” to produce a documentary on the issue of teen substance abuse, which was screened as the opening film of GenArt’s 18th Annual Film Festival.
Through news and social media the campaign has generated more than 250 million message-rich impressions on our target audiences, including USA Today, CNN.com, DoctorOz.com, Huffington Post, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood Live and More.com, as well as regional print and broadcast news media coverage. Social influencers who posted about The Medicine Abuse Project included Dr. Oz, Larry King, LIVESTRONG, Maria Shriver, The Justice Department and media personality Andrew Zimmern.