The “Just Say No” campaign of the 80s has been done away with for the most part in today’s anti-drug effort. Parents are now being taught to be more detailed and specific with their kids about the dangers of drugs.
A Simple Message
Many people label the “Just Say No” campaign as ineffective. While the message was spread to millions of kids across the country, many kids turned the other way and were more inclined to try drugs. In one way, the campaign was effective in getting into homes – everyone knows “Just Say No” – and part of the reason for that was the simplicity of the statement. It boiled everything down to that one phrase. Another example is the commercial with the fried egg: “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” We remember things that are as basic as this campaign was.
Shortfalls of the Campaign
The problem with Just Say No is that first of all, if a teen or pre-teen does not emulate the person who is saying it to them, they are not going to listen, and might even do the opposite. A squeaky clean First Lady, or health teacher, or even police officer may not get a teen to do something simply because they say they should.
Teens need facts, they need details, they need reasons why they should Just Say No. Adolescents are ready to explore their world and try new things. Unfortunately, drugs are sometimes one of the things they want to experiment with. There is not enough incentive to avoid drugs in a campaign that so simply says not to.
It’s In the Details
There are millions of reasons why an adolescent shouldn’t try drugs, and parents should tap into these facts when they have an anti-drug talk with their kids. Here are just some of them: Many new drugs today are actually made with toxins that eat away the body and leave it disfigured. Other drugs cause so much brain damage that the user can’t ever function on their own again. Kids should be made known of the dangers of addiction, and how quickly a substance can take over someone’s life. Addicts are often left with a life of theft, violence, health problems, and mental illness.
Parents who want to get the message across to their teen to Just Say No need to go farther than that one statement. Parents need to have an ongoing conversation with their child about the dangers of drugs. Kids have access to unlimited information through the Internet today. They are going to learn all about drugs one way or another. It is important for parents to put their two cents in about drug use also. Talk to your teen. Equip yourself with knowledge about the dangers your teen will face so that you can properly talk to them.