Given the popularity of public service announcements, as well as the broader implications of risk associated with illicit drug use, this study sought to identify potential disconnects between drug prevention messages espoused by the Canadian government’s DrugsNot4Me anti-illicit-drug public service announcement campaign and how high-risk, drug-using street-involved youth perceive the campaign. A qualitative content analysis was undertaken to examine the framing of illicit drug use among youth, and a series of qualitative interviews was conducted with a group of street youth to explore their perspectives on the campaign. Results indicate that not only did drug prevention messages not address the needs of this population, including providing resources for support, they also did not translate to youth and rather caused undue emotional harm and suffering. Rigorous evaluation of public service announcements are necessary to mitigate negative outcomes for youth with increased vulnerability to illicit drug use.
Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Member of collection