UFC Launches Opioid Awareness Campaign

By Paul Gaita 03/07/19

In the video, UFC president Dana White highlights statistics about the toll taken by the opioid crisis and offers resources for those in need of help. 

UFC president Dana White
Photo via YouTube

The mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has joined in the fight against the national opioid crisis by launching its own public service campaign to heighten awareness about the impact of opioid dependency.

The campaign, which kicked off in Las Vegas on March 2, featured UFC President Dana White, as well as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline.

The campaign fulfills the UFC's 2018 commitment to create a public service campaign as part of its relationship with the Trump Administration's Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse.

In a press release, UFC stated that future announcements will feature UFC athletes and take advantage of the company's sizable social media audience of 75 million followers and widely viewed live events to "spread the message of prevention, treatment, and recovery related to opioid addiction."

The video featuring White premiered before the UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith event on March 2.

In October 2018, the UFC was among a group of lawmakers and representatives from more than 20 major companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Blue Cross Blue Shield, to appear at a White House ceremony where President Trump signed into law the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was intended to provide help for opioid treatment and recovery initiatives.

White, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of Trump's bid for the White House, pledged his company's assistance in helping to combat the epidemic. 

"Opioid addiction does not discriminate," said White. "Millions of Americans are impacted by this tragic crisis. UFC is committed to helping President Trump in the fight to end opioid abuse." At the time of the White House ceremony, UFC announced that it would roll out its public service campaign before the end of 2018.

In the video, White highlights statistics about the toll taken by the opioid crisis. Drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50, and two-thirds of drug overdose deaths are caused by opioids. 

To reach the National Helpline, dial 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit SAMHSA's website for additional resources.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.