When I was growing up the official anti-drug campaigns always seemed earnest, overstated, and unintentionally hilarious. Every time a new video was shown in our health class or a new commercial hit TV, my friends immediately came up with parodies that were much cleverer than the original. I don’t know if anyone researched the effect, or if these anti-drug campaigns did more to pique curiosity than they did to deter potential users.
My perspective shifted once my own kids became teenagers. Sure I hope the message gets through. But anti-drug campaigns haven’t improved much. Although they’re a little more edgy and a lot less earnest, my kids find them just as hilarious as I once did.
What has an impact? Mugshots of users whose facial transformation speaks for itself. Of course you can find a video with overdone soundtrack and voiceover. But the mugshots themselves are silent damning evidence.