National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign


National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
A poster circa 2000 concerning cannabis in the United States.

The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is a current domestic government propaganda campaign in the United States conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) with the goal to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and of "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[1][2]

Contents

History

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] which mandated a national anti-drug propaganda campaign for youth.[5] These activities subsequently funded by the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1998,[6] formally creating the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.[7] The Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 codified the propaganda campaign at 21 U.S.C. § 1708.[8][9]

Anti-marijuana advertising

In August 2001, the office told a Congressional committee that its National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign "has been the most visible symbol of the federal government's commitment to drug prevention," and that the office was "investing $7 million a year in performance measurement to determine the effectiveness" of the campaign. The statement said "We believe there is a strong body of evidence that indicates the campaign is working, as planned, to change drug attitudes, intentions and use."[10]

In 2002, according to a multiyear study by the research firm hired by the office, teenagers exposed to federal anti-drug ads were no less likely to use drugs for having viewed them, and some young girls said they were even more likely to give drugs a try. Walters blamed poor ads that weren't resonating with teenagers. Walters promised in Senate testimony in 2002 that he would show results within a year or admit failure, and Congress agreed to extend the campaign through 2003 while cutting funding for the ads from $170 million in 2002 to $150 million in 2003. An entirely new advertising campaign was created.[11]

In February 2005, a research company hired by the office and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that the government's ad campaign aimed at dissuading teens from using marijuana, a campaign that cost $1.4 billion between 1998 and 2006, did not work: "greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana." The research company was paid $42.7 million for the five-year study. After the February 2005 report was received, the office continued the ad campaign, spending $220 million on the anti-marijuana ads in fiscal years 2005 and 2006.[12]

Effects

Reports measuring the outcomes of the campaign indicate a lack of effectivity. Though the messages succeeded in reaching many youth, findings do not point to the achievement of the desired results. President Bush's goal in this campaign was to reduce youth drug use by 10% over two years, and 25% over 5 years. [13] The National Survey of Parent and Youth (NSPY) was instituted and funded by congress to monitor and assess the NYADMC's effects on youth.[14] Even though the advertisements themselves were only as specific as to address use of marijuana, the NSPY measurements reported alcohol consumption, binge drinking, cigarette use, and use of marijuana/hashish. The assessment consisted of multiple rounds of strategic questioning between years 2000 and 2004 to determine youths exposure to the advertisements, and behavioral patterns in relation to marijuana use. 94% of youth (ages 12.5-18) reported exposure to at least 1 anti-drug message per month. Those sampled didn't change marijuana usage over the time period measured. Youths claiming to have used marijuana within the past year in 2000 accounted for 17.1% in 2000, and dropped as low as a .4% decrease with 16.7% in 2004. However, there was a .4% increase in those claiming to have used marijuana within the past 30 days, rising from 7.8% to 8.2% between 2000 to 2004. There are also evidence of pro-marijuana lagged association effects.[15]

the rate of acceleration in use was quicker at among 14-18 year olds than at earlier stages of teenage years.

Not only do data indicate the ineffectiveness of much anti-drug advertising, results also point to a behavior in the opposite direction, or a boomerang effect. Of those unexposed to ads on a given month, 81% did not intend to use marijuana, That percentage decreased for youth exposed to 1-3 ads per month, to 79% and dropped to 78% among those exposed to more than 4 advertisements per month.

See also

References

  1. ^ Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy — Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9–10, http://www.gao.gov/decisions/appro/303495.pdf 
  2. ^ Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998
  3. ^ National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti–Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100-690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988
  4. ^ Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy — Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3, http://www.gao.gov/decisions/appro/303495.pdf 
  5. ^ Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1998, Pub.L. 105-61, 111 Stat. 1272, at 111 Stat. 1294
  6. ^ Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1998, Pub.L. 105-61, 111 Stat. 1272
  7. ^ GAO-06-818, ONDCP Media Campaign: Contractor’s National Evaluation Did Not Find That the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Was Effective in Reducing Youth Drug Use, Government Accountability Office, August 2006, p. 1, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06818.pdf 
  8. ^ Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998
  9. ^ Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998, at 112 Stat. 2681-752
  10. ^ "National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign: How to Ensure the Program Operates Efficiently and Effectively", Testimony to Congress, August 1, 2001
  11. ^ Shawn Zeller, "Ads, Drugs & Money", Government Executive magazine, September 19, 2003
  12. ^ Ryan Grim, A White House Drug Deal Gone Bad: Sitting on the Negative Results of a Study of Anti-Marijuana Ads, Slate magazine, September 7, 2006
  13. ^ "ONDCP Reauthorization: The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign". US Government Printing Office. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_house_hearings&docid=f:87450.pdf. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Scheier, Lawrence M.; Grenard, Jerry L. (1). "Influence of a National Social Marketing Campaign on Adolescent Youth". Journal of Health and Comminucation 15: 240–271. doi:10.1080/10810731003686580. http://web.ebscohost.com.silk.library.umass.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=da7d4ce1-a2db-43e8-a5f4-4e1728906b8f%40sessionmgr11&vid=6&hid=18. 
  15. ^ Hornik, Robert; Lela Jacobson, Robert Orwin, Andrea Piesse, Graham Kalton (December 2008). "Effects of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign on Youths". American Journal of Public Health. 12 98: 2229–2236. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/98/12/2229. 

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