Antidrug Advertising Hitting Missing Mark


What is the impact on a child who writes up graffiti to see an advert on a bus – which says “graffitidiots”? Does it not re-enforce any negative thinking? Perhaps invoke retaliation?

What is the impact on a teenager who drinks alcohol to excess, to see a picture of a girl crashed through a coffee table? – Someone is in need of care – quick, ring for paramedics and an ambulance – alcohol abuse will get you into care.

How does a heroin addict react to a graphic picture of someone “shooting up”? A sure way to set them on the pathway to instant recovery – or more like giving an alcoholic a photo – of a bottle of “Jim Beam”?

Some people place themselves in our community with the job description and responsibility to open lines of communication with young people who act out in anti social ways and use drugs.

These people then sit in their offices and think of ways to use money and power to overcome these deviant ways. No use talking to a kid that does graffiti, no use talking to an addict. Send them a sign that we really mean business – plough all of our government funding (except for our wages), back into an advertising campaign. That will satisfy all stakeholders and everyone concerned that we have earned our keep and done our best to discourage these deviant ways.

No one can mediate between opposing parties unless they can see the inherent validity of each side of the issue. Empowerment of all parties to speak, to be heard, and to have their position respected is the only way to achieve a satisfactory resolution to any problem.

People who use “persuasive force” in place of real communication with addicts and those who feel angst against “society” do nothing good with the messages that they send. They simply fail to see the issues from the other side of their “fence”.

Well intentioned, but ill considered methods and messages either hit the target exactly where it hurts, and invoke retaliation, or miss the mark completely, encouraging not recovery but continued use and abuse.

Authorities today see substance abuse and anti-social behavior as being either a deliberate choice, or something that people are born with, that mysteriously “develops” as genetic disease. Once identified, such people are immediately “diagnosed” as having a medical or psychiatric problem, and thereafter offered medication and control by the system.

If you are using substances to control your feelings, or compulsively want to act out in anti social ways, you need to understand that you cannot change the world – only the way that you see it.

Confrontation with institute powers that be, whether society in general, or in your own family only works for improvement or change when both sides have respect for and listen to each other’s point of view. Sadly, many of those with power in our society cling to it with a ruthless determination not to see or hear anything that might dilute that power or result in a fairer solution. They see independence of thought and action as a threat to personal power.

If you are using substances or feel anger with the system using independent holistic centers for substance detox and rehabilitation can help you to sort out and understand your feelings, and why you feel oppressed. Holistic counseling and support, without use of drugs, will help you to find better options and ways to “do” your life.

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