Just Say 'No' to Drugs
The Just Say 'No' to Drugs campaign that was heralded in when
Ronald Regan was president, may have been a good start in bringing
national awareness to the drug problem in the U. S. Critics, then
and now say that this campaign does not go far enough. Other critics
say that this campaign has had the "forbidden fruit"
effect of making drugs more enticing.
Just Say No
Whatever your belief, the Just Say 'No' to Drugs campaign offers
but a simple solution to a complex problem. Over the years, the
political propagandists behind the Just Say 'No' to Drugs campaign
have tried to make it 'cool' to say 'no'. This has worked to some
degree, but has fallen way short of what has been needed. Bringing
about public awareness without public solutions are most often
doomed to fail.
According to a report by the U.S. Center on Substance Abuse Prevention,
"alternatives programming appears to be most effective among
those youth at greatest risk for substance abuse and related problems."
These alternatives are stated as activities free of alcohol, tobacco
or illicit drug use. These alternative activities are also helpful
for adults who want to say 'No' to drugs as well.
Many of those
with addiction problems will at some point have to struggle with
lifestyle and relationship changes that will need to occur in
order for sobriety to take hold. For instance, the person suffering
from an addiction, will at some point, need to think about both
the activities and relationships to hold on to, put at a distance
or let go of in order to make their sobriety work. Many addicts
have started using again because the thought of giving up a friend
or loved one, brought up too much fear and grief for them to handle
at that point.
Having alternative activities in place while the addict is deciding
which relationships to keep, distance from or abandon is generally
a good idea. Just saying 'No' is not a simple as the campaign
would have you believe.
Support groups of family, friends and others will need to
be either formed or strengthened for the task. Decisions on
what activities and friends to keep or not will have to be
made. A job environment of a move to a new location may also
be in order.
Some will acknowledge that the Just Say 'No' to Drugs campaign
is not for the current addict but as means of prevention for the
younger generations. This has had limited success though with teenagers
who prefer being talked to rather that "talked at". But,
those still on the Just Say 'No' to Drugs campaign trail say that
this program is better than no program at all. In fact, this program
of promoting slogans against
drugs has expanded and with the variety of drug free slogans
that have invaded the cultural consciousness, some positive impact
For lack of a better anti-drug campaign this may be true. It
is interesting the note that even the U. S. Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) has gotten into the Just Say 'No' to Drugs act. They
are promoting that just saying 'No' is cool and to get high on
intelligence and if you ever want to play "I Spy" with
foreign nations under their watch, you may not do so if you've
done drugs in the past or will do drugs in the future.