Friday, January 4, 2013

The US Navy launches one of the world's worst anti-drug campaigns

Business Insider writes, "The U.S. Navy produced this public service announcement warning recruits against using bath salts for all the obvious reasons -- vomiting, paranoia, brain swelling and violent behavior. Plus, you might see demons!"

Sort-of-cool Exorcist references aside, it commits many of the cardinal sins of drug awareness social marketing: It overstates the danger (showing a first-time use as immediately deadly); it's laughably cheesy; and it ends with a big lecture from "the man".

"Bath salts" are a nickname for a family of designer drugs typically containing substituted cathinones. According to Wikipedia, they have effects similar to meth and cocaine.

Not that that's a good thing. But these drugs are in widespread use among youth. When you only show the worst-case scenario for a recreational drug, you risk losing all credibility with any new user who experiences a good trip — or even knows someone who has had a few.

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