What If We Treated Cancer Patients Like Addicts?

Cancer Patients

A new ad campaign for a Kansas City-based recovery organization challenges viewers to think about what would happen if people treated cancer patients the way that they treat addiction patients, in an ad that is designed to challenge the stigma around addiction.

The idea for the ad campaign came from last year’s Surgeon General’s report, which emphasized that addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. Despite the report, the message still needs to be shared.

“There are still a lot of people out there who feel that addiction is a moral failing, a choice, and I’m not saying that addicts don’t have a part in it. It’s like any disease: first and foremost it’s genetic,” said John Godsey, chief creative officer of VML, the advertising firm that collaborated with the First Call recovery organization.

Designing the campaign was poignant for Godsey, who is in recovery.

“It’s very much a passion project for me because I have been sober for 12 years and I’ve had a lot of people in my family die from addiction,” he said. “I’ve said pretty much all the lines in these spots and I’ve had them said to me.”