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Study Finds That Anti-Drug Campaign Was an Expensive Failure

As part of the war on drugs, the federal government initiated the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign back in 1999 and spent approximately $1 billion on it. The study had the laudable goal of educating young people and trying to deter them from using drugs. However, a recent study has indicated that not only has the $1 billion campaign apparently failed, it may have made young people more likely to use drugs in some cases. The study involved interviewing thousands of young people to gauge their exposure and reactions to anti-drug advertisements. According to the report, 94% of the young people interviewed indicated that they were exposed to the campaign (about 2-3 times per week) but it often had no positive effect. In fact, the study showed that kids between the ages of 12 1/2 and 18 who saw the ads more often than others were more likely to indicate a desire to use drugs.