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News Link • Drugs and Medications

.The Science Of PSAs: Do Anti-Drug Ads Keep Kids Off Drugs?

• Shaunacy Ferro via PopSci.com
 The Office of National Drug Control Policy, established in 1988, runs the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a propaganda machine created to stop kids from using drugs and the money behind anti-drug ad campaigns like "My Anti-Drug" and "Above the Influence."

Since it was established in 1998, the government has poured hundreds of millions of dollars a year into buying ad spots for anti-drug propaganda. But does it work?

Carson Wagner, now an assistant professor of journalism at Ohio University, wrote his 1998 Penn State master's thesis in media studies on the counter-intuitive effects of anti-drug ads. He demonstrated that for some kids, seeing anti-drug ads made them curious about what doing drugs would be like, even if they had never had that curiosity before.

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