A heroin addict spends five straights days detoxing on camera in Truth's latest campaign

Long-running effort turns its attention from opioid prescriptions to recovery

Published On
Oct 23, 2018

Editor's Pick

The Truth campaign, long a determined adversary of the tobacco industry, turned its attention to opioid abuse earlier this year. A series of graphic spots showed the lengths to which addicts will go to land another prescription for the strong painkillers.

Now Truth examines the other end of addiction--detox and recovery--with a stark and intimate look into the life of a young woman trying to move beyond years of drug dependency. “Treatment Box” displays five unfiltered days in the life of Rebekkah, a 26-year-old heroin and opioid addict, as she detoxes on camera.

The scenes of her shaky limbs, nausea, vomiting and insomnia played out on a three-dimensional installation at Astor Place in New York City in June. Passersby stopped to watch a life-size Rebekkah in her room, often huddled in bed, wracked with pain. Interspersed are short interviews where she explains that she was prescribed opioids when she was 14, after injuring her ankle during cheerleading practice. Addiction quickly followed, and two months later, she tried heroin. “I feel like I’m coming back from the dead,” she says on Day 3 of detox. A longform film out this week shows the profound effect the initiative had on audiences.

The project is a partnership with the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council, with agency partner 72andSunny. Tucker Walsh of M ss ng P eces directed the film.

Before beginning the campaign, the organizations met with a medical ethicist to determine whether the project should move forward, and the treatment protocols were reviewed by Phoenix House, a national addiction treatment program. Rebekkah was filmed around the clock for five days in a mini treatment center that was created for the shoot. The installation ran in New York for a single day.

In exchange for taking part, Rebekkah is receiving a year of free treatment. She entered a facility after filming and there has access to a psychiatrist, nurses, paramedics, a sober companion, a medical ethicist and a treatment center specialist. She is still in treatment and is reportedly doing well.


Oct 23, 2018
Client :
Agency :
Director :
Tucker Walsh
m ss ng p eces
Chief Executive Officer :
Robin Koval
Chief Marketing Officer :
Eric Asche
Chief Communications Officer :
Tricia Kenney
SVP, Marketing & Media Investment :
Nicole Dorrler
General Counsel :
Robert Faulk
Managing Director, Marketing :
Mary Dominguez
Creative Director/Designer :
Garrett Jones
Creative Director/Writer :
Nate Virnig
Creative Director/Writer :
Peter Albores
Designer :
Garrett Combes
Writer :
Chase Hilton
Strategy Director :
Marc Pardy
Connections Strategy Director :
Greg White
Brand Director :
Danielle Gard
Brand Manager :
Marie Simoni
Partnerships and Legal Director :
Amy Jacobsen
Partnerships and Legal Director :
Jana Nauman
Partnerships and Legal Manager :
Hector Olguin
Executive Film Producer :
Carlin Wilson-Webb
Executive Film Producer :
Jim Haight
Film Producer :
Annie Dietz
Director :
Tucker Walsh
Supervising Producer :
Kathryn Berk
Executive Producer :
Dave Saltzman
Executive Producer :
Edward Grann
Producer :
Jennifer Duffy
Producer :
Jason Reif
Director of Photography :
Tristan Nyby
Casting Director :
Dina Buglione
Editorial :
White House
Post Production :
Post Producer :
Jordan Stricklin
Editor :
James Dierx
Sound Design :
Michael Anastasi
Music House :
Music Producer :
Annick Mayer
Music Composer :
Vlad Berkhemer
Managing Partner :
Ari Kuschnir
Managing Partner :
Brian Latt
Managing Partner :
Kate Oppenheim
Director of Immersive Content :
Mike Woods
Head of Production :
Rebecca Davis
Head of Post Production :
Josh Sussman

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type