As Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign to address New Jersey’s opioid abuse crisis continues, a second round of advertising for the state’s REACH NJ website and call center has been launched.

According to Maggie Moran, a managing partner of Kivvit, a communications data-driven public affairs firm handling the campaign, the idea here is to educate New Jerseyans about the dangers of opioid and heroin addiction, increase access to recovery programs, and reduce some of the stigma and shame associated with drug addictions.

For the new REACH NJ commercials Moran said the message will be “there is now an enhanced platform of treatment options and different programs in place, and there’s a significant focus on thinking through how to create awareness around prevention.”

She said in addition to traditional radio and TV ads, people will also be reminded about REACH NJ through digital and social media ads, billboards as well as Reddit and Hulu.

“Those ads will start layering back into the public domain as early as today and you’ll see them increase over the next six to eight weeks.”

She said the campaign is being mounted “so that we can make sure the public understands that REACH NJ is still there to provide help and that there’s increased services and programs that have been applied by the governor in his most recent announcements.”

She noted assistance is available in particular for the uninsured, the working poor and those that relapse.

Moran pointed out this past spring, four populations were targeted: the general population, at-risk youth and adults, the African-American and Latino communities, and influencers, including health care professionals, law enforcement and educators. The results of that campaign were striking, she said.

From last April into June, she said there were “more than 231,000 visits to the website, and when folks go to the website they’re spending more than 7 minutes and 27 seconds on the site, which is a uniquely staggering number.”

She noted for many, recovery is a lifetime experience, and many of the programs we’re seeing now “have a more holistic approach, I think many, many citizens of the state have come forward and said these are the kinds of programs we need to beat back the scourge of this addiction."

She says in a relatively short period of time, the REACH NJ program has become a model for the rest of the nation.

“The brand of REACH NJ has become so significant that 9 out of every 10 New Jerseyans that do some kind of search related to heroin opioid abuse include REACH NJ in their search criteria.”

Moran added the dramatic awareness of the REACH NJ program is an indication of the large percentage of people in the Garden State “that really want to find access to recovery for their family, their friends, or potentially themselves.”

“The need is quite prevalent, the commitment by the state is quite significant, and I think and we all hope that REACH NJ will serve as a platform to save lives.”

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