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What Is The Above The Influence Campaign?

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 190

Above the Influence is a national advertising campaign geared toward teens and young adults, their parents and caregivers, for the purpose of informing and arming youth to stand against negative influences and peer pressures, particularly as it pertains to drugs and alcohol. Above the Influence is a sub-campaign of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign under the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which falls under the leadership of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. So this is a national government-funded agenda to influence the attitudes and minds of today's youth in a positive direction and away from substance abuse, using whatever means necessary.

To get the message out on a broad national and focused community level, Above the Influence has used commercials, videos, t-shirts, clothing, ads and other propaganda. You may remember one commercial several years ago comparing an egg frying to what happens when you take drugs, with the message, "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" Another common message is "I am my anti-drug," which aims to place more focus on youth pursuing their dreams and goals rather than following the crowd and going after drugs. The messages and imagery are sometimes controversial or intense to quickly get youth attention and create a lasting visual within their minds, but the agenda has for the most part been unsuccessful at curbing teen drug use.

Since the conception of this campaign, the federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars each year to advertise and test their efforts, and for several years didn't see any noticeable changes in drug and alcohol use among teens and youth adults. Their dedication is praiseworthy, because there seems to be such a passion to dissuade youth from substance abuse that they haven't given up and continue to pour funding into different plans and methods in hopes that they can make a dent in the youth drug and alcohol problem. Their findings show that repeatedly seeing ads that are against drug use inadvertently causes youth to want to try drugs, since it appears that everyone is doing them. Ads geared toward parents are the ones that appear to be working. These ads encourage parents to talk with their kids about drugs, to find other avenues for recreation, and to spend quality time with their kids. This seems to imply that the biggest determinant factor in the war against drugs is the parents. No matter how much outsiders try to influence a youth, parents carry much more influential power than anyone or anything. Findings also show that whatever appears to be popular, whether good or bad, is what gets young people's attention.

Localized efforts, like the "Be Your Own Influence" campaigns in 2005 and 2006, reportedly did show some decline in marijuana use among young people in multiple communities throughout the U.S. The national message of "Above the Influence" ads also affected marijuana use in those same groups. So the messages are received in some instances, but the government hasn't seen the success that they would like. As long as they continue to persist, more breakthroughs are on the way.

Learn more about Teen Drinking and Teenage Alcoholism.

Source: EzineArticles
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Above The Influence


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