Professional Development

This IBX Foundation campaign looks to destigmatize opioid addiction

“In retrospect, recovery is so much easier.”

Michael DiMaio, a Delaware County native featured in the "Someone You Know" campaign. (Video courtesy of Independence Blue Cross Foundation)

It was a seemingly minor work injury that spun Michael DiMaio’s life into a 12-year cycle of crime and opioid abuse.

“I would continue to go to pain management so I got prescribed these drugs and I would sell my prescriptions drugs and I’d buy heroin,” the Air Force Veteran and Delaware County resident said. “In retrospect, recovery is so much easier.”

DiMaio, who candidly disclosed his struggles with opioid addiction, is one of five Philadelphians featured in a recent campaign from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation called Someone You Know, a five-video campaign that looks to destigmatize opioid addiction and highlight the impact that recovery programs have had in drug users’ lives.

“Through bold, direct, and highly personal stories, we hope to raise public awareness that substance misuse is not a problem that people should be ashamed to discuss, and to let those who are struggling know that there are people out there going through the exact same thing and turning around their lives,” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. “With simple and inspiring messages like ‘Someone you know is overcoming opioid addiction, you can too,’ we hope to help remove the stigma that often prohibits people from seeking help and starting on the path to recovery.”

The campaign will feature a cross-media blitz (outdoor advertising, videos, and print stories) with personal stories on recovery, loss and addiction. The Foundation also built a website with information for people seeking treatment.

Come October, the campaign will conclude in a national conference showcasing stories and expert discussion on opioid addiction, which causes the death of 24,000 Americans every year. In Philadelphia alone, some 1,200 people died of an opioid overdose last year.

Companies: Independence Blue Cross

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