A drug testing lab in Burlington, Vt., and more than a dozen partner organizations have found an uncommon venue for communicating the message that they are united in helping those affected by the opioid crisis. They have converted a high-traffic section of the Burlington International Airport into a “Change Corridor” featuring information about substance use disorders and quotes from community leaders and people in recovery, meaning that their campaign in large part targets an out-of-state audience.
The airport's aviation director, Gene Richards, believes that “Vermont is a giving community, we take care of our neighbors, and when our neighbors are suffering we need to unite to enact change,” Aspenti Health vice president of branding and corporate social responsibility Aimee Marti tells Addiction Professional.
The drug testing company says the partnering organizations, which include treatment organizations, state agencies and the Burlington Police Department, came together to emphasize to the viewing public that “substance use disorder is a brain disease and not a choice,” says Marti.
Vermont of course has also been a pioneer in treatment responses to the opioid epidemic, having initiated the “hub and spoke” model of medication treatment with opioid treatment programs (OTPs) at the center and office-based buprenorphine prescribers surrounding the hub.
The airport (specifically, the second floor of the North Terminal) will serve as the site for the brand launch of the campaign. Marti says that as part of the effort, Aspenti will work with a behavior change expert to develop resources that will allow for the evaluation of the campaign's impact.