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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

I've reformatted this for the wiki by putting blank lines between paragraphs. TheKemBlog


“Parents. The anti-drug.” Drug campaigns and programs like these, the anti-drug, have become more and more prevalent in our society today. As drug use has now increased greatly in the United States, many (including the government) feel that action must be taken. In the 1990s, the federal government alone gave nearly half a billion dollars to anti-drug coalitions, mainly the “Fighting Back” program. Now, one must wonder if the campaigns and programs are truly effective. Throughout the entirety of this paper the final project, I will explain many programs and their ineffectiveness provide counter-arguments which display situations where the programs may work, and then propose ways that the programs can be changed in order to gain greater effectiveness. Thus, I will mainly be discussing the ineffectiveness of the campaigns. I am going to take a side against the programs, stating that they typically do not lower the use of drugs. This paper is going to be geared towards the government, leaders, and creators of many anti-drug movements. My paper is going to be an informative and evaluative argument, and will provide many examples of campaigns that did not have successful results. (Big audience.)


There are many reasons why the programs are ineffective. First of all, the government chooses to use two controversial tactics in the commercials and advertisements. First, they try and make people feel extremely guilty. Secondly, they try to scare people. Many times, these tactics have the reverse effect as they use extreme situations as examples. According to Health Day News, (Underline periodicals.) researchers found that the drug use showed little, if any, decline. In the specific “Fighting Back” campaign, a network of 14 different communities with the same company, found that the rates of drug use actually increased after the campaigns were done. Also, they stated that: "Coalitions that were more comprehensive in their strategies did not show any superior benefit; when coalitions focused high doses of funding and staff time on specific strategies, this produced an inverse relationship with desired outcomes.” Therefore, the anti-drug campaigns will often result in nothing or with negative effects on its target audience: teenagers.


One anti-drug ad in particular is used to scare people, but it displays false information. This campaign, made in 2003, displays parents who learn that their teenage daughter has become pregnant. The campaign states that they are “the youngest grandparents in town,” and the commercial implies that her pregnancy was a result of marijuana use. This further implies that marijuana ruined her life. The commercial is misleading to the teenage audience that it is aiming towards. It infers that her pregnancy was a result of marijuana use, while there is no link between marijuana use and unwanted pregnancy. (The commercial clearly assumes (enthymeme alert!) that marijuana lowers inhibitions and may therefore result in unprotected sex, which in turn can cause unwanted pregnancies. The question is: is that line of reasoning false?) This is merely used as a scare tactic towards children, but in order for the campaigns to be effective they must also be truthful.


Teenagers are gaining more and more knowledge on the real effects of drugs and alcohol today. If the youth of the 21st century are knowledgeable on the subject, then they will be able to make educated decisions on whether or not to use drugs. 30% of college students in America use marijuana, and this and other drugs will always be confronted at some point with a possibility of drug use. (You mean college students will always be confronted with the possibility of using drugs.) So, if they are able to gain real knowledge then the amount of drug use may go down. Commercials or advertisements that are overly dramatic and not true will not be effective in preventing drug use. In reality, the leaders of the programs and campaigns will not be there when the teenagers are actually offered drugs. Campaigns such as “Just Say No!” may be in the back of their heads, but peer pressure is right there with them in a real life situation. However, if the teenagers are more well-educated on the drugs, then they may be able to make smarter decisions when faced with substances.


Although most of the programs are ineffective, many of them have some positive results. Certain programs, such as the anti-drug (and http://www.anti-drug.com) provide insightful information for the people. It provides ways for parents to talk with their children about drugs, and articles about the true dangers of each individual drug. The website provides straight-up facts without the lies on its website. It gives links to articles proving how drugs affect one’s academics, social life, and many other downfalls. Therefore, if campaigns are more informative and honest then they may be able to actually effectively lower drug use in America. ("therefore" indicates you've proven a claim, but you've not yet done that!) Since many drugs are so prevalent in our society, the government may choose to more strictly enforce the alcohol and tobacco sales, as well as more closely keep a watch on marijuana and drug use. Therefore, the drug campaigns today may be ineffective, but over time they may be able to improve and enhance them in order to actually lower drug use among the youth of America. (Is there any reason to believe that media campaigns of any sort will decrease drug use?)







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