May 27, 2020

This Is Your Brain On Drugs — Any Questions?

We’ve all see the 1987 TV campaign by Partnership for a Drug-Free America where a man asks if there is anyone out there who still doesn't understand the dangers of drug abuse. He holds up an egg and says, “This is your brain,” before motioning to a frying pan and adding, “This is drugs.” He then cracks open the egg, fries the contents and says, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”
 
In the 30 years since the original “Fried Egg” ad appeared on TV screens across the country, kids have had many questions. 
 
In a nod to the iconic TV spot, the Partnership, now The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, has re-envisioned the public service announcement to reflect parenting today and address the change in awareness and perceptions about drug use.
 
“Fried Egg 2016” opens with the familiar: “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” Instead of ending there, it transitions to a series of kids asking parents questions about substance abuse in rapid succession. “Prescription drugs aren’t as bad as street drugs, right?” asks one kid. “Weed’s legal, isn’t it?” asks another. 
 
The ad ends with a voice-over from Emmy-Award winning actress Allison Janney, who portrays a mother in recovery on the CBS sitcom Mom: “They’re going to ask. Be ready. Go to drugfree.org.” 
 

“The new campaign focuses on the litany of drug questions that parents face from their teens, and it also shows how the Partnership has evolved to meet the needs of families,” says Rebecca Shaw, director of advertising and production for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We understand just how difficult this subject can be for parents who are facing it head on, and we’re here with answers, help and guidance.” 
 
Parent Joe C. grapples with these questions every day. 
 
“What could someone have said or done to prevent my teenage addiction?” he wonders. “As a parent, I know I should say something, but what? ‘Do as I say, not as I’ve done,’ can’t be very helpful.”
 
With the legalization of marijuana, prescription medicine abuse and the tragic headlines on overdose deaths, kids are going to ask questions. The Partnership’s goal is to get parents like Joe thinking about how they’re going to answer the questions before they’re asked. 
 
The Partnership has developed some strategies to keep in mind before talking with your teen, including remain calm, keep an open mind, avoid lecturing, thank your child for coming to you with questions, and remind your teen that you care deeply about his health and well-being
 
“As we enter our fourth decade, the Partnership is a place where families can find the information they need to understand today’s ever-changing drug landscape and get help for a child with a substance use disorder,” says Marcia Lee Taylor, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We are not just helping address the difficult questions; we are helping parents and families find answers.” 
 

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