End Stigma (Health Canada)


By emphasizing their relationships, friends and family (actors) of overdose decedents convey the message, "I never thought drugs would impact someone close to me" (their daughter, husband, friend). As they grieve the loss of this person, they reflect on the stigma and shame associated with substance use. In the first rollout of this campaign, Health Canada produced 4 posters with the concluding tagline, "This story could be yours."


In February 2021, Health Canada uploaded a video entitled "End the stigma" (linked here) that appears to be a continuation of this 2019 campaign (a second rollout), as it features the same stock footage actors. This ad was likely more widely distributed.





"End Stigma" by Health Canada is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.






Voice 1: (female 30-39) "I never thought drugs would impact someone close to me…"
[A woman sits on a couch, next to a basket of laundry. She holds a hardhat.]

Voice 2: (male 50-60) "That people would judge and make her feel invisible…"
[A man and a woman stand in a kitchen, not looking at each other.]

Voice 3: (male young 20s) "That he'd be ashamed to talk about his opioid use."
[A young basketball player sits on a bench in a locker room.]

Voice 1: (female 30-39) "He felt like he couldn't ask for help, even though he was my husband."
[The woman on the couch stares out the window.]

Voice 4: (female 50-60) "Our daughter."
[In the kitchen, close-up of a photo of a young woman on the fridge.]

Voice 3: (male young 20s) "My best friend…"
[The basketball player looks into the camera.]

Narrator: "Canadians are dying of overdoses every day. Stigma is making it harder for people to get help. Addiction is a treatable medical condition - not a choice."
[Wearing protective masks, a man sits on a bench in a hallway, his head bowed, rubbing his hands together anxiously. A health care professional comes out of an office and greets him. She joins him on the bench.]

Narrator: "Help end the stigma."
[Words on the screen: Get the facts at Canada.ca/Opioids]

Narrator: "A message from the Government of Canada."
["Canada" wordmark]


Health Canada, “End Stigma (Health Canada),” Anti-Stigma Archive, accessed July 13, 2024, http://antistigma.info/items/show/7.