Portage’s ”Addiction Traps” Awareness Campaign was born out of a disturbing realization about the impact of the pandemic on youth. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of our youth1 and has not slowed down the alcohol and drug use habits of Canadians. The causes are multiple (isolation, school closures, dysfunctional family support, etc.), but the consequences are very real: cannabis abuse, self-medication, alcohol abuse, depression, etc. Thus, many young people no longer know how to manage their emotions and find themselves trapped in addiction.
The ”Addiction Traps” campaign highlights how quickly, easily and cruelly addiction can lead to isolation, and features a youth who is unable to escape from the vicious circle of addiction. Whether it’s to foster a discussion on the topic or indicate how to get help quickly, the campaign provides information on how Portage can help youth free themselves from their addiction.
Reaching Out to Youth Over Social Platforms
The initial phase of the campaign will launch during the National Addictions Awareness Week from November 20 to 26; this part of the campaign will be entirely digital in order to reach youth through the communications channels they are most familiar with. Asking for addiction-related help can be extremely difficult as well as a source of stigmatization; by using social media platforms that allow for freer expression and reflection, the campaign seeks to break the taboo of addiction.
During the holiday season, the ”Addiction Traps” campaign will be broadcast to wider audiences over media such as television and radio, followed by a poster campaign that will be launched in Montréal during summer 2023. Aimed at the general public, this campaign is made possible by the invaluable cooperation of the La Bande creative agency. A steadfast partner for many years now, La Bande shares Portage’s values as we seek to help people with addictions.
Over the past 50 years, Portage has helped thousands of people with substance abuse problems overcome their addiction. The organization provides a range of services tailored to the needs of adults, youth, mothers with young children, pregnant women, as well as men and women with both mental health and substance use problems. Portage offers free treatment programs that are recognized and certified by Accreditation Canada. Portage operates several drug rehabilitation centres in Québec: in Montréal, Prévost (Laurentians), Québec City and Saint-Malachie. Two other centres cater to residents of Ontario and Atlantic Canada. For more information, go to www.portage.ca.