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Wait, Those Anti-Drug Ads Didn’t Work?

Raise your hand if you’re surprised: “Despite investing $1 billion in a massive anti-drug campaign, a controversial new study suggests that the push failed to help the United States win the war on drugs.”

And: “there is also a small amount of evidence that indicates the anti-drug campaign may have had the opposite effect for some teens.”

Gosh, there’s a shocker.

ABC news reported on this earlier in the week – apparently Congress mandated a study of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which launched in the 90s. The investigators, working with Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of American youth, evidently found that the more teens saw of these awful ads, the more of ’em started smoking marijuana.

Now, I know it’s easy to hate on ONDCP for leading what is arguably the country’s most destructive (30 years an running, folks!) war and propping up a prison industrial complex that disproportionately targets people of color, transgender folks and increasingly women. Lots of reasons to hate on them there. But to ice an already hateful cake, they waste literally billions of dollars solely on these stupid TV ads that actually made more kids start smoking.


Well, there’s good news out there, too. And in this weird, contradictory universe we live in, part of it is actually funded by this very same federal government. Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico used some federal grant money to help produce this by-youth, for-youth educational video about meth.

If you’re around Albuquerque, go to the screening next Thursday. It’s good stuff – all true, all sides, helping young people make their own informed decisions about drugs.