National Survey Indicates Anti-Drug Messages in the Media are Working

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Youth who reported hearing alcohol and drug prevention messages are less likely to turn to drugs.

For many years now the anti-drug movement in America has been using Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to deliver messages on television, radio, in print media and now online about the dangers and consequences of using drugs. From Nancy Reagan’s "Just Say No," to an egg in a frying pan to funding terrorism, some of the more famous campaigns that were used did little more than create "product recognition" while others have had a huge impact on deterrence.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a report demonstrating that the vast majority of youth ages 12 to 17 (more than 20 million) are receiving drug and alcohol prevention messages through the media. The report also showed that those who have been exposed to such messages are significantly less likely to abuse drugs.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that not only are a 83 percent of teens hearing these anti-drug messages, they are making an impact. Youth who reported having seen or heard prevention messages in the media during the past year are much less likely than their peers to report illicit drug use (10.8 vs. 13.7 percent).

The survey also indicated the crucial role parents play in keeping their children drug-free. The report stated that youth who had talked with a parent about the dangers of drug use were less likely to report past month illicit drug use than those who had not.

According to a supervisor at Narconon Arrowhead, "Communicating the truth about drugs to our nation’s youth requires more than just a message. The information is best delivered by someone with real-life experience on the subject and provides something more than what they read in a health class text book."

Narconon Arrowhead has a team of dedicated staff working to educate young and old alike through the media and reaches millions of people each week through their PSAs, which air all over the country on a regular basis.

The Narconon® program has been effectively educating youth through all forms of media and live presentations for decades with hundreds of thousands of surveys showing exactly what works with kids and what they want to know. As one of the nation’s largest and most effective drug rehabilitation and education programs, Narconon Arrowhead uses the proven drug-free methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

"Many young people are told that drugs are dangerous, but not how or why," says the Narconon spokesperson, "To deter them from experimentation with these substances it helps to project into the future what drug use leads to and to explain that none of the 23 million people in need of substance abuse treatment ever thought they would become an addict."

Though it is not likely that a single 60-second PSA will completely change someone’s mind about drugs, repetition of message with insightful information can go a long way in the fight to prevent drug use. This is an important reminder as much of the nation’s schools begin their fall semester this month.

For more information about drugs and addiction, call Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or visit


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Luke Catton
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