|Information About the Drug Abuse Prevention Center
Key Points on the Production of Prevention and Education Material and an Effective Awareness Campaign
Methods for the Effective Use of Publicity Materials
We live in a society that is said to have an excessive reliance on
information. Countless bits of information are being exchanged these days.
To more effectively use publicity materials, it is important to adjust
the style in which the information is conveyed and to make effective use
of the selected information on a timely basis. When it comes to topic
of drug abuse, mass media information, such as TV programs, radio programs,
and newspaper articles, has a large impact on the general public.
At present, only the negative elements of the drug abuse problem, the
visible cases and crimes and so on, are exposed. As a result most people's
attitudes are to avoid drug abuse prevention campaigns and remain aloof
For example, stories about the arrest of former pro baseball pitcher
(Enatsu) for illegal stimulant possession and the mass suicide of junior
high school students at the end of the year due to solvent abuse were
carried by all the Japanese mass media for days and seem to have been
very effective in making the drug abuse problem topical throughout the
whole population. However, these were, in the end, only two pieces of
information and concentrated on an exceptional aspect of the drug problem,
so they did not recognize the deeper nature of the problem. The instructional
activities of anti-drug abuse campaigns tend rather to expose the negative
aspects, but there are also stories of happiness being salvaged from disaster,
and it is important to use these golden opportunities to make even a slight
appeal to the public. At the same time, the buildup of communication can
allow comparatively steady maintenance of the issue in the public eyes
as well as the necessary communication of importance of drug abuse prevention.
In addition, the dissemination of accurate can be put into practice simply
and without resistance in all kind of places and occasions.
Research has reported that it is only during the 15-second commercial
period that little children react to TV programs. This because the message
of sponsors is condensed in 15-seconds, and, at the same time, identical
commercials are repeated over and over again.
Similarly, it is necessary for drug abuse prevention activities to
maintain a unified image nationwide and to stress that image repeatedly.
From this point of view, it is effective to utilize our Center's campaign
slogan, "No, Absolutely No!", as a synonym for these activities and as
a way to increase the public penetration rate. It is vital to build the
campaign's momentum and keep it moving forward.
Our Center produces education and prevention materials in order to
promote drug abuse control activities. If communities, prefectural governments,
and other organizations prepare such materials by themselves, great costs
arise from the duplication of effort. Therefore, we recommend to organizations
that they place their names on the materials we produce, so as to keep
the cost of production expanses at a minimum, with an additional marginal
cost for the name entry. We believe that the good use of our Center benefits
such organizations in terms of cost saving and effectiveness of their
Trends in each region are also connected to the evaluation of the campaign's
It is advisable to use the image characters of the Center for day-to-day
activities of different organizations. In other words, if the pictures
of the campaign characters of the Center are used for the covers of pocket-sized
tissue paper, pamphlets, manuals, and publicity publications, passersby,
who otherwise do not receive such handouts on the street, may willingly
accept these materials. This approach applies to other publicity materials
The Center produces 16 mm films and video tapes. Each of the productions
lasts for about 20 minutes and is designed to be used during breaks at
rallies and lecture meeting and at the beginning of the lectures. The
video tapes can be routinely shown in meeting rooms and lobbied without
setting a specific show time.
In this information age, the dissemination of images through television
is completely networked, and all kinds of information are spreading one-sidedly.
In this situation, the limit of dialogue with a screen in educational
activities on film would seem to be 15 or 20 minutes. The most effective
use of films meeting this time-limit is to follow them with a brief talk
by a teacher or lecturer. We are preparing educational videos from this
When you request an individual or organization to give you the permission
to post posters, you can use the stars (characters) on the posters as
communication facilitators to help break the ice (such as mentioning that
star now appears in so and so program) before you shift to the topic of
drug abuse problems.
At the same time each promoter will endeavor to hang at least five
posters in his neighborhood (shops, town notice boards etc.) and will
be a means to periodically grasp the situation in the area.
In the meantime, it is normal for educational activities to be one-way, to end with the provision of informational materials. As an answer to this, this Center has been touring the capital region with a Caravan Car to work with junior high school students. The work of this Caravan Car produces the following results. This promotion of more effective action can be expected from a fresh reaction to anti-drug abuse campaign and from generating points of action. The Caravan Car can encourage communication and handle situations directly on site, providing more effective preventive measures. beginning next year, the Caravan Car will participate enthusiastically in the Ministry of Education's drug education environment-building events and then in regional health events. It is coming into its own as a functional base on the front line on anti-drug abuse action. In the past, the drug problem was characterized by the criminality of drug abuse, so, in general, the occasions where it could be discussed were limited, and, as a result, the issue was far removed from any constructive, healthy image. The arrival of the Caravan car breaks through the shall of people's subconscious ideas, producing a bright, healthy image which can be discussed in the living room. This certainly a major step forward in the development of a citizen's movement.