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Prescription opioids have helped fuel the drug abuse epidemic in the United States. The U.S. Navy promotes readiness by preventing misuse of these substances by its sailors.

Focus Areas
  • Analysis and research
  • Campaign development
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Web design and development
  • Social media strategy
  • Marketing and advertising


To preserve total force fitness, the Navy Personnel Command’s Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office needed a partner experienced in health communications and substance use prevention to communicate to sailors, military leaders, families and partners the proper way to dispose of drugs, and engage advocates who could share that message more broadly.


    Aptive leads the Prescription for Discharge Campaign, a multifaceted strategic communications and social marketing effort. Underpinning the campaign is detailed research gleaned from 16 focus groups, which engaged sailors, medical personnel and family members to determine the most resonant messages and outreach tactics.

    The research led to the central message of the campaign — the four steps to proper drug disposal are take correctly, report promptly, dispose properly and never share — which is used on all Prescription for Discharge Campaign marketing products. These include a flyer, posters, pop-up signs and buttons, and a suite of multimedia products containing articles, fact sheets, implementation guide, news releases and social media messages.

    We produced three video public service announcements, which are live-action videos featuring relatable scenarios of sailors carrying out the four disposal steps. Aptive develops all the content for campaign materials and public relations and manages the social media campaign.


    • Campaign activities and messaging contributed to a 33% decrease in prescription drug positives from FY16 to FY18.
    • Qualitative research and 20 focus groups resulted in a clear understanding of key audiences’ attitudes toward prescription drug use and informed social campaign.
    • Implemented effective outreach strategies for the campaign, to enhance education and awareness of prescription drug misuse and health and career consequences.
    • Filmed and circulated live-action and animated videos that highlight the four steps to drug disposal and potential career impacts resulting from drug misuse.

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