Are Antidrug ads backfiring?

By Cakes · Dec 8, 2007 · ·
  1. Cakes
    Are Antidrug Ads Backfiring?

    Results from a new study suggest antidrug ads may increase drug usage among college students.

    A boy high on pot accidentally shoots his friend. A carload of stoned teenagers slams into a little girl on a bike. These stark images are used in televised antidrug ads. The federal government spent about 170 million dollars to air them this year. But researchers at Texas State University in San Marco have some troubling news: Such ads may actually increase the likelihood that kids will use drugs.

    Maria Czyzewska and Harvey Ginsberg found that the government-funded ads had a disturbing "boomerang" effect on a sample of 53 college students. Three out of four students said they had more favorable impressions of drugs after watching the commercials than they had before. The ads' weaknesses, the researchers explained in their recent presentation to the American Psychological Society in Chicago, is that students see them as exaggerated and nonfactual, creating distrust of the source and its message.

    In another study, the researchers found that students are more receptive to antismoking ads. The difference may lie in the antismoking campaign's more factual approach, as opposed to the exaggerated dangers trumpeted by the antidrug ads.

    Psychology Today, 2006

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  1. rocksmokinmachine
    I think it is a combination of ingorance and purposeful propaganda. Though I don't think it is infulences the decisions or the behaviour of anyone using drugs, not one bit. The nieve young child sat infront of the television seeing images of bodies, darkness and dispair may well be affected. But will soon loose his/her faith when curiosity gets the better of them.
  2. Orchid_Suspiria
    These ads have backfired for the longest time.Swim grew up during the eighties.He was saturated with the whole "Just Say No"thing.He was forced to go on little marches wearing shirts and hats that said Just Say No while walking around his cities downtown with thousands of other kids screaming it.Well about ten years later swim is laying in his room shooting h for the first time.The whole thing was a joke.Only people as utterly clueless as Nancy Reagan could have thought it would have been effective.And if now they think some add with people sticking leeches on their arms is going to do any better they are just as clueless.

    Maybe if they would make ads that tell the truth and warn kids about the real dangers instead of just telling them"Weed is sooo horrible"they might do some good but until then.
  3. Zentaurus41
    I hated that just say NO thing, if your in the UK at the time you would probably remember that horrid grange Hill song that they put on children's TV. Along with all the funny winners don't use drugs slogans on the arcade machines.

    I was only young, there wasn't any Internet or real drug information, but I sure as hell didn't buy into that government crap.

    Why would I take all that christian do gooders holding hands crap propaganda.

    But at least now we have the internet so kids, adults or who ever can go to the right sites and learn the truth.
  4. Paracelsus
    The impact of ads in general (anti-drug or not) is mixed. To those that already concur with the message of the ad, the ad will seem good. To those who are opposed to the advertised product/idea, ads will likely increase this opposition. The most vulnerable category is people who don't know what to think about the advertised product/idea.

    College students are well-known for generally high drug (especially alcohol) use and are also better educated, so the results of the study are not surprising.
  5. Benjamin Bones
    I remember the 'Heroin Screws You Up' campaign in the UK in the early/mid 80's, which featured a poster of a pale, wasted and emaciated looking young man. Apparently, a lot of girls at the time found him quite fetching and he became a bit of a teeny pin up :laugh:.
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