Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Emergency - 703-573-5679 Detox - 703-502-7000 (24/7)

703-383-8500
TTY 711

8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031

Daryl Washington,
Executive Director

Fairfax County launches unique communications campaign; #CouldBeYou

#CouldBeYou with yearbook pictures in background Photo of woman talking with message speak up get help Map of Fairfax County with dots representing numbers of overdoses Photo of people holding hands with message speak up get help

  • “These videos give me hope.  I don’t feel hopeless after watching them."
  • "These videos are very relatable."
  • "The song choices really speak to me."
  • "I like that it uses the word ‘dope.’ That’s what we say – not opioids. ‘Dope’ can cover a broad range of drugs and it’s a very good choice to use that word."
  • "The video is very relatable – the careers are ones that I could have had, and my friends have."
  • "This is a strong message and the videos are powerful. Love them."
  • "The video is inspirational – it makes me want to help others (maybe even work for CSB).”

These are the words shared by individuals being treated for opioid and heroin dependency by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB).

As Fairfax County prepared to create a public education campaign on the life-threatening dangers of drug addiction and how to get help, the CSB stepped up to host focus groups to help test and create messages that would resonate with young people, the population most heavily impacted by opioid use disorder. The new campaign "#CouldBeYou" features images and short videos to be incorporated into digital spaces targeting people ages 14-35. The pieces depict a loss of potential and sacrificed futures, which are feelings commonly expressed by people struggling with substance use disorder.

“It was extraordinarily valuable to take the time to research images, music and messaging that would be relatable to people – and their families – who are struggling with these issues, and to help figure out what would motivate people to seek help,” said Linda Girardi, Creative Director with Eastern Research Group (ERG), who helped create the campaign. “The goal of this campaign is to reduce internal stigma in people who are struggling with opioid use disorder so that they will be more inclined to seek treatment.” CSB clients formed into focus groups and were eager to provide their opinions and feedback. Materials were edited and finalized based on this feedback.

Staff from ERG worked to create a series of videos that will be placed online and will be targeted to reach a cross-section of audiences. The first phase will last three months, moving into a second phase for three additional months based on the results. Among the measurement tools, staff will evaluate calls to CSB’s Fairfax Detoxification Center, visits to CSB’s walk-in centers for assessments, as well as web analytics and digital shares.

#CouldBeYou is funded by the Fairfax County Opioid Task Force and made possible through generous funding from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who are taking active and multi-pronged strategies to address the opioid and heroin epidemic. In addition to funding additional school substance abuse counselors, a new anti-drug community coalition, new treatment funds, and drug take-back boxes at all local police district stations, the Board of Supervisors recently filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to hold them accountable for the significant impact caused by manufacturing and marketing drugs of highly addictive components.

Learn more about the Fairfax County Opioid Task Force and actions underway to address the opioid public health crisis.

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Contact Information

Contact for news media inquiries: Lucy Caldwell, Communications Director, 703-324-7006 (office), 703-856-5210 (cell).