Anti-Drug Messages Given A Test in Middle School 

Anti-Drug Messages Given A Test in Middle School 
Posted by FoM on June 01, 2000 at 04:57:12 PT
By Nancy Trejos, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
They may not have been old enough to remember former First Lady Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign, but on Tuesday the catchy phrase was flowing freely from the mouths of Charles County middle school students.The "Just Say No" campaign of the millennial generation made its way to Milton M. Somers Middle School this week, with Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) testing the slogans this time around.
More than 30 youngsters and a handful of parents served as a focus group for a new media campaign planned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy."Don't blow it," warned figure skating champion Tara Lipinski in one commercial."There's never been a better time to be a girl. There's never been a better time not to use drugs," said a player from the Women's World Cup soccer team in another."The fact of the matter is that [TV] is the most powerful communication device that anyone's ever invented," Hoyer said while leading a discussion with the students after they viewed the commercials. Several members of the Office of National Drug Control Policy advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather also were on hand to talk to the youngsters.Hoyer said the government has pumped $18 billion into its anti-drug campaign."Just say no. Isn't that simple? It's not simple," he said to the students. "It's an easy concept but we know that it's hard to do."Drug use among adolescents peaked in the 1990s and now appears to be leveling off. A recent national survey of eighth- and 10th-graders and high school seniors found that drug use remained steady in 1999. The survey was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Somers Principal Joseph Warfield said most of the campaign efforts should target middle school students because they are more susceptible to peer pressure than the older teenagers."I've seen so many good kids who have gone in the wrong direction," he said. "We have to catch them early and try to turn them around."Warfield said he once worked at a high school and saw many students get hooked on drugs. "Once they get to high school, it takes a traumatic experience to turn them around," he said.Hoyer agreed that middle school is a critical period for children. "They are now getting to an age when we know there's more experimentation going on," he said.That was one reason, Hoyer said, that he decided to visit the La Plata school on Tuesday. The students' comments were simple and direct.The commercials "were short, and teens don't like the long stuff," said Clifton Cole, 14."We should focus on the outcomes of drugs in the commercials," offered Christa May, 14.All the students said they have encountered some form of peer pressure at school. "People think it's cool, and they want you to be like them," said Jessica Nutter, 13."It makes me upset that they want to do it," said Hillary Spalding, 13. By Nancy TrejosWashington Post Staff WriterThursday , June 1, 2000 ; M03  2000 The Washington Post Company Related Articles:What Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Drug Use Project DARE Ineffective 10 Years Later View Next 20 Articles Feature:
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Comment #2 posted by Nick Caldwell on June 11, 2000 at 06:06:52 PT:
propaganda didn't work then why would it work now
I graduated from dare program back when Iwas in school Iam allumni of the class of 1995.DARE stimulated my couriosity about drugs they were presented cloaked in mystery and lies with a foundation of half-truths.DARE put me on the path to drug use.The harder you try to curb drug use the less effective you will be. Try putting forth balanced information on the pros&cons of drug use and allow people to make informed decisions for themselves not make people criminals for what they ingest to explore their own conciousness.FREE MIND EXPANDING PHARMACEUTICALS FROM THE GOVERNMENTS HIPOCRITICAL CLUTCHES!!
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on June 02, 2000 at 07:34:02 PT
I am amazed that someone is trying to revive the "just say no"idiocy.....dddd
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