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Rhode Island Department of Health

Generating millions of impressions about the dangers of fentanyl


In 2021, 435 Rhode Islanders lost their lives to overdose (3 out of every 4 overdose deaths involved fentanyl). The highest number of lives lost ever recorded to date in RI. To respond to this public health, RI has developed a strategic plan to address the epidemic, including the creation of (PORI). PORI offers the latest data on addiction and overdose in RI and provides resources on preventing overdose and safer drug use.


In 2022, SCS was engaged to continue the marketing efforts of RI's Fentanyl Public Awareness Campaign, Small Amounts. The campaign warns people of the dangers of fentanyl (the leading cause of overdose in RI) and its presence in the drug supply. SCS efforts included a multi-channel digital advertising campaign that reached audiences in various channels, such as OTT/CTV, YouTube, display ads, and social media (Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat).

SCS continues its work with out-of-home placements in bus shelters, billboards, and RI movie theaters. In addition, SCS has implemented targeted strategies towards overdose hotspot communities (or those experiencing ROAAR events) by sending bilingual direct mail to addresses within targeted census tracts and following up with text messages aimed at people with mobile phone numbers in those areas.


SCS's 2022 digital marketing efforts resulted in 7,500,303 impressions, reached 223,183 unique users, and generated 434,279 video views, 22,751 clicks, and 7,119 new users to the website, with an average session duration of 1:50 minutes.

"The Rhode Island Department of Health worked with Systems Change Strategies (SYS) to implement a statewide, multi-channel media buying and marketing campaign. They quickly re-launched the campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl-contaminated substances at a critical time as overdoses continue to be on the rise. They have been active listeners during this process and have helped to amplify the voices of our community partners while being responsive, agile, and creative in deploying these public health communications that breakthrough and save lives."

Rachael Elmaleh

Communications Manager, Drug Overdose Prevention and Substance Use Epidemiology Programs, Rhode Island Department of Health

Services Rendered

Digital Advertising, Direct Mail, SMS Texting, Cinema Advertising, Video Editing, and Graphic Design

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