Combatting addiction in families for OnePlusOne

Our input

  • Behaviour change
  • Research

Funded by the UK Government, relationships charity OnePlusOne appointed Claremont to develop a behaviour change intervention for couples dealing with addiction in their families.

Claremont’s preferred approach is the UK Government Communications Service OASIS framework, informed by the EAST Behaviour-Change Model, which in this case meant:


Strengthen the relationships of couples affected by addiction by influencing them to make small changes in their relationship behaviours, specifically:

  1. regularly have quality one-to-one time together;
  2. actively listen to one another;
  3. seeking external relationship help if required.


Insight sessions were undertaken with experts and service users at addiction charities to understand the context and behavioural barriers; a key insight was that the target audience should be the parents of the substance misuser rather than the ‘user’ themselves.


Strategy was developed using the EAST model:

  • Easy — created a simple resource that was ready to use immediately e.g. was not dependent on internet access.
  • Attractive — provided an aesthetically pleasing physical item of high perceived value — like a gift — to create intrigue and get attention; real-life audio stories were highly engaging and connected on an emotional level.
  • Social — the item would be given personally to couples by practitioners who already had a close relationship with them; we used audio stories from real people in the same social situation as our audience, rather than from distant professionals.
  • Timely — the resource was given to couples at a specific stage of their ‘coping journey’ as part of a package of professional counselling.


A partnership was established with specialist charity Adfam; an audio journalist captured highly emotive real-life stories of couples living with — and coping with — addiction in their families; the couples’ stories were chosen because they exemplified the behaviours the campaign was tasked with achieving; the stories were edited in to a 30-minute set of six ‘relationship realities’ clips and loaded on to low-cost (£8) MP3 players, set in a gift box with simple instructions and a freepost evaluation form; 100 copies were distributed via eight drug/alcohol workers across the UK.


An evaluation form was included with the package; 20 recipients were interviewed by phone and distributor drug/alcohol staff were surveyed and interviewed.

  • 61% of recipients returned an evaluation form;
  • 96% of respondents agreed that they could relate to some of the experiences; 88% stated that the resource led to them trying to make one or more of the campaign’s target behaviour adjustments;
  • 100% of participant drug/alcohol workers agreed that hearing others’ stories helped families look after their relationships.

These findings were used to inform a second round of scaled-up prototyping:

  • the MP3 players were replaced with more reliable ‘audio books’;
  • improvements were made to the audio and distribution process;
  • evaluation was enhanced to include an SMS-based mechanic;

1000 were produced and distributed via 60 practitioners nationwide with early findings of behavioural impact very positive: ROI is particularly strong compared to traditional interventions.