Government Anti-drug Ads
Since 1998, the federal government has spent more than $1 billion on an offensive and misleading anti-drug advertising campaign run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. But scientific studies have repeatedly shown that the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is not only ineffective at reducing drug abuse, but that the ads may actually increase pro-drug attitudes in teens.
While it is important to educate young people about the effects of drugs and drug abuse, these ads are an abysmal failure. Young people want to know the truth about the effects of drugs and their real risks. But when we see ads that obviously exaggerate and stretch reality for political purposes, we are offended and turned off to anything credible the government may have to say.
So it’s not at all surprising that a series of federally-funded research studies show that the ads are not only ineffective, but can actually make some young people more likely to use drugs. An internal White House review gave the campaign a score of just 6 out of 100 for “results and accountability.” Responding to this mounting evidence against the ads’ effectiveness, Congress has cut the program’s funding by 47% since 2001. But Congress still plans to spend more than $100 million on the ad campaign next year.
Check out the links in the sidebar for more information/resources and to find out what you can do to stop the government from spending your tax dollars on ineffective, offensive, and harmful anti-drug ads.