There was no shortage of anti-drug PSAs in the 80s and 90s. But were any of them effective? Is it possible that some may have actually been counterproductive to their cause? For example, I bet we all remember a certain PSA that made use of everyday kitchen items to illustrate how drugs affect the brain. But do any of us remember the lesson?
It went like this:
–A man shows us an egg and says, “This is your brain.”
–The man points to a cast iron pan on a hot stove and says, “This is drugs.”
–The man cracks the egg, empties it into the pan and says “This is your brain on drugs.”
You know the rest: after hatching his muddled metaphor, the man asks “any questions?” in a way that implies that if you do have questions, he’s going to punch you in the mouth.
Got that everybody!?!‽ Brain + Drugs = Fried Egg. End of story!
If you don’t know by now, what I’m describing is the most infamous anti-drug PSA of my childhood — “This Is Your Brain On Drugs” — which did a bang-up job of scaring the shit out of us kids, but unfortunately failed to communicate any real facts about drugs’ effects on the brain.
And knowledge really can be power. So, in that spirit, here is Dr. Carl Hart sharing his own PSA, filled with clear, concise information about how legal and illegal chemicals can affect the brain — and the facts might just surprise you..
And if you’re longing for a refreshment course in the old ways we taught kids about the effects of drugs, check out the original This Is Your Brain On Drugs PSA here..