Press Release

Minister Martin announces television campaign to kick start year two of drugs awareness campaign

Research Highlights Need for More Information

The importance of providing ever-more information about drugs for parents and children alike was highlighted in the findings of new research conducted by the Health Promotion Unit of the Department of Health and Children. The research, which was carried out as part of a three-year Drugs Awareness Campaign being implemented by the HPU, noted that while almost 75% of parents talked to their children about drugs that only two in five parents felt that they were well enough informed about the subject.*

The research was carried out by the HPU at the end of the first year of the campaign. The findings were announced as details of year two of the “Drugs: There Are Answers” campaign was launched earlier today, Monday, 26th January, 2004. The second phase of the campaign starts this evening a four-week television burst on RTE1, Network 2, TV3, TG4, Sky One, Sky News, Sky Sports and E4.

The Drugs Awareness Campaign is an important component of the Government´s National Drugs Strategy 2001-2008 – which aims to significantly reduce the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs, through a concerted focus on supply reduction, prevention, treatment and research. A key part of the strategy is the provision of more information and the creation of a greater awareness of the dangers of drug misuse.

The month long burst of television advertising is the first part of this year’s campaign. Other initiatives planned for the first few months of the year include the distribution of two booklets for both parents and children:

  • How Do I Talk to Someone About Drugs
  • A Parent´s Guide to Drugs

The brochures can be obtained by ringing the campaign information line on 1 850 719 819.

A key new initiative for 2004 is the “Drugs: There Are Answers” Roadshow which will be travelling to major population centres over the coming months. A pilot for the Roadshow was successfully carried out in Clonmel last November.

The Roadshow brings the key messages out to local areas providing people with the opportunity to meet with experts and to discuss all aspects of drugs misuse. In each area the Roadshow is being backed by local press and radio advertising. The full schedule of the Roadshow will be announced shortly.

Speaking about the campaign Micheál Martin, TD, Minister for Health and Children said that research had shown that raising the level of awareness in relation to drugs misuse could play a significant role in dealing with the problem. He said that while the current research had shown that more information is getting through to parents a great deal more still needs to be done.

“It is imperative that we understand the reasons behind the person´s drug usage and inform ourselves with the facts before we confront them. Different people use different drugs for different reasons so we just cannot put everyone who tries drugs into the one category. Our current campaign forms part of a three-year campaign, aimed at ensuring that people know that information and help is available. It is also designed to ensure people know that such information can play an important role in dealing with drugs”.

The advertising campaign has been developed by Ogilvy & Mather Ireland. It is being run under the tag line “To Make Better Choices You Need the Right Information. Drugs. There Are Answers.”