Skip to content

Message in a Needle

By Joe Miller | February 20, 2017

Joe_February_Blog_Revised

A message in a needle.

It’s not quite the kind of messaging I’m used to. Normally I’m cobbling together the right words for a client, to capture the essence of a brand, a promise, a benefit, a selling proposition. Or writing a clumsy, but heartfelt, blog.

This is different. It’s not a bottle floating in the ocean anymore. This needle, this heroin-filled syringe finding another vein, is a cry for help. A death rattle. And it is a warning, because opioid addiction is getting worse.

Unless you live under a rock, you hear it and see the aftermath. But we don’t seem to be doing much about it, aside from bemoaning the tragedy of it all and sending thoughts and prayers.

They’re just addicts, right?

After all, they made the choice to shoot up or smoke it or swallow it. They must be weak minded, or morally challenged, or just stupid. Let’s check that thinking for a minute, because it’s baloney. Addiction is an incredibly inclusive disease. The hundreds of thousands of people suffering with and dying from this epidemic are neighbors, family, friends, and friends of friends. They are not just poor. They come from all ethnicities and economic backgrounds. I know this to be true, because I have known many.

Whatever your personal beliefs, the fact is that treatment, done right, works. Lots of scientific research is being done to improve it. But I don’t believe recovery will ever be a quick cure. Not all addicted people are the same. That’s why therapies and outcomes are being studied so intensely. This study must continue. Improving treatment outcomes must be the goal. It can be done, if we don’t ignore the message.

Try to help.

Tons of people and organizations are trying like crazy to help. Their futures are precarious, however, in light of coming changes to our healthcare. We at designRoom are trying to help too, helping behavioral health organizations become as healthy and effective as possible by helping them build their brands, inside and out. On the personal side, Kelly serves on the board of a regional behavioral healthcare provider. Me? I’ve worked with hundreds of addicted people and a few small organizations. Most often it’s simple stuff like rides, company, counsel, food, shoes, haircuts, coffee, clothes… occasionally cash, if I know them well enough.

I can say without reservation that working with addicts and the people that help them is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Everyone should try it. You can find them in hospitals, halfway houses, treatment centers, jails, food centers, homeless shelters, and, yeah, on the street. Give whatever you can. Here’s one of the great places in my neck of the woods. We need more.

Learn as much as you can.

Refute the myths about addiction and recovery whenever you hear them. Message your legislators and demand that, no matter what else happens to our health care, access to addiction treatment must be included.

Approximately one in four-to-five of us will deal with this disease personally. Someone you know will die. Let’s all heed the message and do something to help.

Share on...

Posted in  and tagged , , , , , ,

Author

Joe Miller

Joe delivers copy, generates concepts, and helps determine strategy. He’s been doing it since 1991 when he started working with a small downtown Cleveland marketing firm. Joe joined the designRoom team as a freelance writer in 1993. He has an annoying knack for finding the core of a problem and the heart of a solution. He also makes the best coffee in the office. In early 2008 he joined the Marketing & Communications team at the Ohio Lottery. While there, Joe led the team that developed and implemented the Lottery’s first-ever social media initiative and crafted the Ohio Policy and Procedures and Terms of Use that guided all the Lottery’s social media involvement. In addition, he created a Winners are Everywhere campaign and managed the creative agency responsible for its implementation. Joe is also a professional musician and educator and occasional composer. He’s the Jazz Trumpet faculty and Jazz Combo conductor at Cleveland State University and has performed all over the world.

“I trust them with my brand. I trust them with my marketing business. They will not steer you wrong. They will ensure everything is on point moving forward.”

Lauren Byers, Vice President, MarshBerry

"Our client base increased. Our staff base increased. Our reputation and notoriety in the industry increased. The branding has lifted us up to be very confident.”

Denise Corbisiero, COO, Integrity Billing

“We trust them as true professionals who really understand the process that’s required to do things right.”

Carole Boye, CEO, Community Alliance

“They really bring in the heart behind the message. They tell the story in ways that are compelling. They’re really creative and that matters.”

Anthony Guido, VP of Communications & Marketing, Cohen Veterans Network

“…we really felt that they understood what we wanted to accomplish. They listened to us instead of puking their process on us.”

Laura Bren, President, Deeley Insurance Group

“Loved the process – we got so much more than a new logo; helped us unite around a common mission and language.”

Travis Pearson, CEO, Endeavors

“This input helped us work better together as a team. The whole brand refresh process was a wonderful team building opportunity.”

Matthew Wolf, Vice President, Seabrook

“We never had the production value in terms of the presentation/signage – the quality was new and impressive and people really embraced it.”

Marvin Ventrell, Executive Director, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers

“Take the time to let designRoom get to know you. It is amazing that they get to the core of who you are…”

Jonathan Lee, President & CEO, Signature Health, Inc.

“They became much more like partners deeply embedded inside our business.”

Travis Mlakar, President, Millcraft Paper

  • X

  • Scroll To Top