According to remarks given by Donald Trump at the White House on October 26, the “most important thing” the Trump Administration will do in the battle against the U.S. opioid addiction crisis will be anti-drug ads.
Over the course of the speech, Trump mentioned several ways that his administration plans to combat the ongoing U.S. opioid addiction crisis. “One of the things our administration will be doing is a massive advertising campaign to get people, especially children, not to want to take drugs in the first place because they will see the devastation and the ruination it causes to people and people’s lives,” he said.
In August, Trump had said he planned to declare the opioid addiction crisis a national emergency, which would have immediately opened up funding to be allocated toward affording individuals with addiction recovery treatment. By instead declaring the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency, no immediately allocation of federal funding will occur.
Instead, Trump said that his administration would provide “really tough, really big, really great advertising,” and claimed that “if we can teach young people, and people generally, not to start, it’s really, really easy not to take them.” The proposition echoes the “Just Say No” campaign that was orginially introduced by the Reagan administration during the 1980’s.
According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, which examined the behavioral and cognitive effects of the Anti-Drug Media Campaign from 1999 to 2004, the anti-drug advertisement campaign had little to no effect on addiction in the U.S.
Trump also stated that he would be considering the recommendations made by the administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission, which is headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been scheduled to submit its final report for review on Thursday, November 1.