Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Launches New Campaigns Addressing Heartache, Helplessness Felt by Parents of a Child Struggling with Opioid Misuse

New York-Based Agency Terri & Sandy Creates Pro-Bono Campaigns to Offer Hope for Families

NEW YORK, August 21, 2019Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has launched two campaigns that examine the impact of opioid addiction on families, while offering hope to parents and loved ones. Both campaigns, created pro-bono by New York-based independent agency, Terri & Sandy, break this week and feature a :30 and a :15 television spot, along with multiple print and out-of-home executions.

The first campaign, Impossible Questions, is based on the insight that when a child is struggling with substance use and addiction, parents are faced with questions that have no easy answers. Directed by Mark Pellington of Washington Square Films and edited by Chris Franklin of Big Sky Editorial, the campaign demonstrates that these questions can often divide a family or tear apart a marriage. A powerful :30 television spot – set to run nationally and locally across broadcast, digital and social media channels – dramatizes this struggle as a mother and father poignantly debate topics like whether kicking their son out of the house will be the catalyst needed to address his substance use, or fuel his addiction.

Companion print ads feature simple silhouettes of parents as they contemplate heart-wrenching questions, like “Should we empty our son’s college fund to pay for rehab?” and “Is giving my daughter money to buy food helping her buy drugs?” All the assets that comprise the Impossible Questions campaign direct parents to the nonprofit’s website, drugfree.org, “where families find answers.”

“The team at Terri & Sandy exhibited such passion for this project, and the power of their work was due not only to the beauty with which their campaigns were crafted, but also to the depth of the genuine insights on which their concepts were developed,” said Rebecca Shaw, Director of Advertising and Production for Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “They understood the isolation and helplessness so many parents feel and grew to appreciate the incredible stress that substance use disorders put on the whole family, especially on the parents who so desperately want to help their child.“

The second initiative – a national print and out-of-home campaign entitled Hope Lives – uses cleverly designed copy to turn statements of hopelessness into stories of success. Each headline is divided into two colors, with one ad reading, “My son is a victim of addiction” in one color and “My son is proof that a victim of opioid addiction can recover” in a second color. Another ad relies on the same art direction to communicate both “Addiction is destroying our home” and “Addiction is no longer destroying our son and he’s coming home for the holidays.” Each pairing inspires parents to “Find Help. Find Hope,” by visiting drugfree.org.

“So many parents who come to us for support and guidance feel desperate. They don’t know if their child will ever be able to stop using substances and they are frustrated about the incredible challenges they must try to overcome,” said Shaw. “Often they blame themselves, their child, a doctor who prescribed opioids irresponsibly or a treatment system that has failed them. Sentiments like ‘my son is a victim’ represent parents’ disbelief and despair about their situations, while ‘my son is proof that a victim of opioid addiction can recover’ highlights a positive outcome which offers much-needed hope.”

Both campaigns draw on raw, true-to-life scenarios in an effort to grab the attention of those dealing with a loved one’s addiction and position drugfree.org as a resource to help empower families with hope, help and practical answers to the real-world problems they have to confront.

“As we worked on this project, we were constantly struck with the impossible questions parents face if their children are struggling with an opioid addiction,” said Terri Meyer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Terri & Sandy. “Every day, they must make agonizing decisions that can take a tremendous toll on their marriage and their lives. Our goal was to capture these moments with great empathy and authenticity and offer help and hope from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.”

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