23 Crazy Anti-Drug Ads You Won’t Believe Are Real

“Just Say No!” This advertising campaign was part of the U.S. “War on Drugs” that First Lady Nancy Reagan championed during her husband’s presidency. It came about during the 1980s and early 1990s, and it used a light touch to discourage children from engaging in illegal recreational drug use.

However, as most kids from the 1980s will tell you, the phrase became more of a joke among our peers rather than a deterrent. Others in the anti-drug crusade must have agreed, because over the years the ads have gone from these sweet, homespun origins to a much darker and grittier approach. And when we did some digging, we couldn’t believe how far into the gutter these things have sunk (pun intended).

The above slide show starts with an anti-marijuana advertisement, more for the quaint, fear-based approach that was taken at a time when pot was perceived to be one of the greatest threats to young people in the world. From there we transition into hard-drinking ads — because alcohol is still considered a drug and a lot of people abuse it; many of these ads come from a campaign out of the United Kingdom, where over-consumption of alcohol is a big problem. Then we get into the really crazy anti drug ads, with particular emphasis on party drugs like crystal meth and the effects it can have on a person’s body and mind.

What do you think? Are these severe versions effective, or are they just crazy anti drug ads that make you laugh like we did with the “Just Say No!” campaign?