Just say no (to this stupid anti-drug campaign)

Just say no (to this stupid anti-drug campaign)

by digby

Trump has repeatedly said that the answer to the opioid crisis is to tell people that drugs are bad:

The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place.If they don’t start, they won’t have a problem. If they do start, it’s awfully tough to get off. So if we can keep them from going on and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: ‘No good, really bad for you in every way.’”

They're spending 384,000 bucks on some ads. Here's the first one:

Think Progress says:

“Historically, programs that have sought to scare people into avoiding drugs have either been ineffective or had the opposite effect,” said Omar Manejwala, chief medical officer of Catasys and an expert on addiction. “Effective approaches to adolescent prevention generally focus on skill building, developmental factors, community, and environmental contributors and policies.”

The “Just Say No” campaign unveiled in the 1980s is a major example. The campaign’s advertisements are largely seen in retrospect as unhelpful and many ads backfired. Experts say contemporary White House efforts will likely be more of the same.

“The problem with the ’80s ads was, they were aimed to please Congress, and when you are trying to please an audience of people who are about 50 years old on average and wear a suit to work and they think kids these days don’t listen — they’re going to love it. Trump will love these commercials,” said Humphreys. “But that’s not who these commercials are for. What is a teenager going to think? What did teenagers think when people smashed up a kitchen after smashing an egg in the 1980s? They thought it was ridiculous.”

It was.

Trump is setting up a situation where he's going to say that he spent this money and told people not to take drugs and if they don't listen it's their own fault. He has no empathy or understanding of this issue. (Well, of any issue) But this one in particular. We know this because he rejected his own brother because of his alcoholism and even punished his brother's kids.

This is where he's going to place his emphasis:

“Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society,” Trump said.“At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer federal prosecutions than in 2011, so they looked at this scourge and they let it go by,” he said. “We’re not letting it go by.”

This isn't going to end well unless this epidemic runs its course on its own.