Arguably, anti-drug campaigns have very little effectiveness.
We spend millions over media campaigns raising awareness and fighting over the same damn thing, year in, year out.
Studies have shown their ineffectiveness since 2008.
Yet the misconception that they are effective still reoccurs.
Campaigns against the use of drugs DO NOT treat the root cause of substance abusers (mentally dis-eased) – that’s why they are a waste of our very own tax dollars. It’s really that simple.
Have we ever had empathetic campaigns showing any sort of positive reinforcements ie. great behaviors between family members, friends, and lovers? The positive consequences of such? How these behaviors aren’t just fairytales in Hollywood scenes.
How strength is derived for empathy?(That very strength and masculine image some youth chase, based off of perceived image using drugs etc?)
How exposure to different types of healings or “mental releases” help cure mental diseases – leading to a disinterest in abusing substances?
Have we ever even thought about why people abuse substances?
We really have to dig deeper.
It is saddening that such campaigns are ineffective in helping drug abusers – most of whom abuse substances as a form of an escape mechanism.
Have we ever displayed campaigns to promote the great care of mental wellbeing, and tied these behaviors to athletes preparing for their biggest nights instead of communicating negatively connotated messages?
Do we not think that feeding any audience with these types of messages would help improve the quality of their lives?
Isn’t that the goal here after all… Using the greatest footballers as role models to make them relate to great achievers… or let’s say champions to create a common interest between the audience.
Don’t we all love champions? Like Mohamed Salah whom we, seasonally, buy his jersey or Cristiano Ronaldo, whom we cannot miss a shirtless photo of, without sharing.
Our point here is that we have a responsibility to utilize our society’s key figures, whether it be actors, public figures or social media “influencers”, using messages that tackle the root causes of our societal issues.
Breast Cancer was stigmatized until a group of influential women including Janelle Hail, the founder of the National Breast Cancer Foundation took action to bring more attention to empower female breast cancer patients in the healthcare ecosystem. Today the outlook on breast cancer is completely different than it was back in the 1960s.
As a society, we need to come together and understand that youngsters abusing substances are never going to respond to their idols on a screen regurgitating “Say No To Drugs”.
It simply doesn’t work.
What we need to do is understand WHY they use drugs and help influence them, at their core psychological point of pain. Understand how they are mentally struggling.
Again, the reality is that no substance abuser is living happily, co-depending on drugs. It’s seriously shitty and it needs much more than just “Don’t let it you” or “Say No To Drugs”.
We need to have purpose-driven campaigns. We need positive reinforcement.
Substance abuse is heavily correlated with pain and depression. As we mentioned above, again, it’s an escaping mechanism so how about we start making campaigns storytelling about toxic parenting, toxic relationships, scientific effects on forgiveness and the chemistry it has on our minds…
Perhaps, we need to tell more stories about how people with great mental health overcame terminal illnesses. How Mental Health is the root of the great quality of life.
Again, isn’t that the goal of “SAY NO TO DRUGS”?
Netflix has started the conversation airing their latest documentary “Heal”, showcasing the extraordinary power of our mental health plays in our physical healing journey.
We can only succeed if we do things differently, right?
Surely, we can come to a realization that the root cause of substance abuse is staggeringly poor mental health.
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