Information About the Drug Abuse Prevention Center

Key Points on the Production of Prevention and Education Material and an Effective Awareness Campaign

Recognition of the Drug Problem and Points for Production of Materials

1) Approach to he Creation of Publicity Materials

2) The Way of thinking about Positive and Negative Aspects of One's Behavior

3) Drug Awareness

4) Taking Advantage of Current Topics for Campaign

5) Utilization and Exposure of Publicity Materials in Communities, Homes, Schools, and Workplaces


1) Approach to he Creation of Publicity Materials

 Looking at the general public's of the drug problem and its relation to daily life, the man in the street's attitude toward stimulants and solvents is primarily that "it has nothing to do with me." For him, drugs connote, wretched, dark, and fearful images. If pressed, most people wish to love their lives in isolation from these things.

 Until now, the ills surrounding drug abuse have been breeding grounds for organized crime, murder, and other crimes, and have resulted in family breakups, economic bankruptcy and instability in the social order.

 The drug problem is regarded as a frightening thing creeping around in an underground of gangsters, artists, and social dropouts. In particular, narcotics and stimulants conjure dark images of skeletons and needles, and, even if the matter is raised in some other connection, it has to be said that constructive discussion is rare. It is largely ignored as a subject of conversation, and, for some reason, most people keep it at arm's length, maintaining the possession of bystanders. The usual state of affair is that most people don't raise a commotion until they find themselves directly involved.

 Even very recently, cases have been arising where junior high school pupils, after watching television, buy and abuse stimulants and are arrested. This is the result of the affinity of youth for narcotics and stimulants and their desire to appear grown up. The identification of these young people with the style of gangsters on TV, etc., and also their desire to show off by testing drugs which they fail to recognize as truly dangerous, can be attributed to their lack of accurate knowledge. Seeing that their friends and acquaintances are wary of drugs, they become interested and wish to show their strength and express themselves, so they put on a show of experimenting with drugs. The image of the drug problem that results from considering it as a problem to avoid has a major influence and steps are to be taken to correct this situation.

 Therefore, to raise concern over the drug problem, an issue with which people wants no connection, a citizen's campaign has to be carried out to alter old perceptions, mobilized the citizenry and develop this into worldwide action. The symbolic basis of the campaign has to be positively taken up by the general public. We have considered this situation and are working to create a unified image which can be taken to heart by public. This nationwide unified image will be used to promote campaign activities. Through this effort, this Center must reduce the distance which people put between themselves and the drug problem, in order to make the campaign a movement of the general public. The positive participation of the youth who will form the next generation is vital. A primary concern is to create points of contact with them,, and they must be made aware of the existence of this Center. Next, progress must be made towards creating a drug abuse-free social enviroment through the dissmention of correct information about of the drug problem and with the ideal of drug abuse prevention in mind. It is important that the old images held by the whole of society be swapt away and that consultation be used to create materials with a bright, healthy concept which anyone may pick up on impulse. For example, when using such word as "narcotics" and "stimlants," the social enviroment is such that the right time and the right place must be taken into consideration. "No, Absolutely No!" has been chosen as a rallying cry, a slogan to break through this barrier.

 The catch phrase "No, Absolutely no!" is to be used as the slogan for the drug abuse prevention campaign to eliminate the public's indifference. "No, Absolutely No!" , as the slogan of a drug abuse prevention campaign, will convey to the public that the aim of the campaign is prevention.

 Popular idols will be employed (this Center will use Tomomi Nishimura) with consideration of their effectiveness as catalysts, and these idols will take the words "No, Absolutely No!" into the living room and throughout all regions of the country in a positive appeal to the indifferent general public. Posters etc. depicting wretchedness and fear, which people avoided and ignored, will be replaced with posters and other educational materials depicting a bright image to make a positive appeal. In short, the posters will raise enough interest among the general public to pique their curiosity and make them take a second look. Previous publicity materials used direct expression and dark images which people did not want to allow into their living environments. If celebrity idols are used, however, there are many fans, and the posters could even be hung in people's bedrooms.


2) The Way of thinking about Positive and Negative Aspects of One's Behavior

 A human being living in the modern age usually acts after he considers whether a behavior is advantageous or disadvantageous to himself. If he considers, for example, whether to join (positive) a social activity or movement or not (negative), he usually does not make the positive choice, because he feels that participation in such as our Center is something rather negative, however good and necessary it is for the well-being of society.

 On the other hand, as Takeshi Beat, a Japanese comedian , once said, "If everybody ignores a red traffic light it isn't frightening to cross the street." Aptly, there are people who are tempted to do negative thing even if they're aware it is wrong. Many such people operate under the notion that they should assess their own behavior in the light of how it might be viewed by the mass media (almost always the way that those in the entertainment business assess their own behavior), their friends, parents, school teachers, etc.

 Therefore, even if we provide very effective materials and information to the general public, people will not became active and cooperative, unless such materials and information are powerful enough to change their attitudes.


3) Drug Awareness

 It seems that a built-in awareness of medical drugs is becoming weaker in many people today. Dealing with illness, such as colds, with medicine is done blindly, and it has become customary to ignore the prescription when taking medicine. There are those treat psychotropic drugs as merely simple medicine.

 Medicines and other drugs are the products of knowledge gained by the generations before us over many long years, and they are essential in medical treatment. Some of these can used by drug abusers for other than their original purpose and, therefore, become a social problem and, by extension, s menace to human society, As a result, medicine itself is denied. Therefore it is necessary to propagate once more a correct knowledge of the genuine purpose of medicine.

 In particular, psychotropic drugs (sedatives and tranquilizers) are being increasingly abused world-wide, and their use in Japan has been regulated by the new Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Control Law. They were the subject of a street survey carried out by this Center in Tokyo and Osaka in February 1992 which showed that over half (52%) of young people believed that psychotropic drug are not dangerous and that their improper use is not punishable by law. The fact that the incidence of cases involving psychotropic drugs has been increasing recently also shows the low level of drug awareness. There medicines are essential in our daily lives, so it is vital to encourage careful rereading of the prescription, the doctor's directions, and precautions on use when these are taken.


4) Taking Advantage of Current Topics for Campaign

 Since publicity materials are used in the front line of campaigns, they are obviously useless if they are unrelated the given social situation.

 It is necessary to observe social trends and to design campaigns which are in step with the current trends, One of the key points is to identify how young people think and act. To attract the attention of modern-day young Japanese, who live in a culture flooded with imported words expressed in "Katakana" and English characters, to the issue of drug abuse, which is now viewed as a minor subject in society, the media, which can access the behavior and thought structure of the youths, must be used to propagate publicity materials.

 For example, what words are in fashion now ? What characters are gaining popularity in the comic book age which is far removed from the print generation ? What stars are popular on television ? And what is topical now ? The currents of fashion have to be brought into the compilation of instructional materials. Of course the format, size, expression and functions of these materials are important points. The footwork of volunteers and activists who support grassroots activities must also be encouraged. In the past, campaigns that were socially beneficial were serious with no consideration for trendiness to compel people to take action. The drug problem, with its doubly negative image, is on the underside of society and has little in common with the lives of the general public. Therefore, it is difficult to translate these campaigns into citizen's movements. This kind of difficulty is inherent, so the ideal campaign materials should be such that activists will want to convey their content to other people and there should be some "hook" to start communication.


5) Utilization and Exposure of Publicity Materials in Communities, Homes, Schools, and Workplaces

 It is important that publicity materials secure a firm position for communicating opportunities among the general public. In order words, they should suite the environment in which they are used, such as public places where they are posted or exhibited, building lobbies, etc. They can be compared to drinks and food; they should whet an appetite for meals, just like aperitifs, spices, and relishes.

 To facilitate the conversation of attitudes on the subject which tends to induce negative views, aggressive materials, which give people active and positive ways of thinking, are needed.

 The tendency today is to act on intuitive judgments of right and wrong without deliberating very deeply, so instructional materials and publicity activities need to consider adaptability. The prime requirement is that they be simple and pleasant with impact.