Changing Anti-Drug Campaigns to Fit Today’s Teens

by AdamS on August 11, 2012

As students all across the country get ready for the new school year, anti-drug advocates are also gearing up with new campaigns designed to keep students drug free.  It is a constant battle to find new ways to reach teens through school campaigns and keep them focused on their school work and away from the temptation of using drugs or alcohol.  New drugs are developed or introduced to the public each year and it is up to the people running these anti-drug campaigns to come up with relevant ways to warn students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.  Many teens will need to go through drug and alcohol rehabilitation and live in a halfway house if they become addicted. Check out for more info on halfway houses.

Previously Successful Campaigns

During the 1980s and 1990s Nancy Reagan introduced the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.  The first Lady became the figurehead of the campaign and went to schools all over the United States and speak of the dangers of using drugs and how to deal with the peer pressure to do drugs in high school.  She also had guest appearances on children and teen aimed television programs during the 80s to promote drug awareness.  During her husband’s presidency, the number of children and young adults who used drugs decreased by over ten percent.

Creating Successful Anti-Drug Campaigns

The “Just Say No” campaign was effective because Nancy Reagan was a very recognizable and successful woman who many kids and teens could look up to.  One of the best things an anti-drug campaign should focus on is getting people who kids look up to to advocate being drug free.  Right now Celebrities like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj have considerable influence over teenagers so they would be great people to use to endorse the anti-drug campaigns.  The campaign also needs to be relevant to the types of new drugs teens are coming into contact with.  This year’s trendy new drug is bath salts and synthetic marijuana called spice which can sometimes be purchased legally by teens from gas stations and convenience stores.

Going Digital

When Nancy Reagan was promoting her “Just Say No” campaign, she used television and radio ads to reach the teenagers.  Now promoters of new campaigns have to focus on more ads for sites like Youtube and other online advertisements which is where the majority of teens now get their information.  They should also design their campaigns to be able to reach people on their mobile smart phones which more and more teenagers have these days.  America is in the process of shifting from more print and television advertising to digital advertising and teenagers are leading the way, so the best way to reach the biggest majority of them is through the digital medium.

Every year as students look forward to starting their new school year, anti-drug campaigns focus on new ways to keep them clean and in school.  The changes in drug trends and culture make the task of reaching these teens very difficult. It is up to  the people leading these campaigns to constantly come up with new ways of getting the message of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse to these students.  Check out for more information on drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

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