Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Drug PSAs...are they effective?

This is an ad from the Montana Meth campaign. These brutally honest ads were a part of The Meth Project, a "large scale prevention project aimed at reducing first time meth use." The ads depict a number of scenarios, from losing hair and teeth, whoring oneself for money, and influencing younger siblings.

The New York Times recently published a study which estimated meth's yearly societal cost at $23.4 billion. That's a huge number-- and it gets worse. According to a 2005 study by SAMHSA, approximately $276 billion was spent or lost on health care, lost productivity, crime, auto accidents, and premature death as a result of drug and alcohol addiction. Yet we, as an industry, receive only $1 billion in federal funding for research. Absolutely ridiculous.

Do PSA's make an impact? Montana Meth reports that numbers are down across the board-- teen use has dropped by 45% and adult use dropped by 72%. There is no proof, however, that any of this is DIRECTLY related to the ad campaign, but it has to be assumed that it had at least a small effect.

All we really need to know is that the system doesn't work. Sending people to jail for years at a time for possession-related crimes instead of treatment doesn't rehabilitate people. Treatment works, especially when consequences have already been provided and more exist should one not complete treatment. We'll see what unfolds down the line. The Mental Health Parity Act is a good start, but that won't directly effect people who can't afford health insurance or those in jail. Keep advocating, and make sure to let your community know the you're not afraid to speak up as a person in recovery.

Here's an ad that didn't seem to make much of an impact.

Here's ALL of the Montana Meth ads put together in a montage. Don't watch this if you have a sensitive stomach.

For a great website, check out The Afflicted and Affected.

For something funny, click here.

As always, find me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. It doesn't mean that ads doesn't work. Maybe it's not that powerful or target audience are not informed.

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