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Why Scare Tactics Won’t Help

Diplo’s music video for the song “Techno” has been making headlines all across the EDM community and received incredibly mixed reviews. Some claim it’s the best way to make a bold statement, that shock value and powerful messages can really change a problem that has always been at the base of the rave community. Others say that is purely a scare tactic used to reinforce the “say no to drug policy” that has always been taught in schools.

Diplo has been making headlines all summer, following the recent announcement he would ban Kandi at Mad Decent Block Parties. He is taking steps to try to change the culture he cares so much about, and although he’s received massive backlash regarding this decision, he is simply doing what he thinks is right. His most recent video follows the story of a father who leases his barn out to men planning to use it to make ecstasy. He grudgingly agrees in order to send his daughter to college, who goes to a concert with some friends and takes some of the product that was made in her fathers barn. The girl collapses on the floor and is taken to the hospital, the final shot of the video showing her father standing over her dead body followed by “Drugs aren’t worth the risk.”

The video has the potential to be incredibly powerful, illustrating to uninformed users the true risk and danger associated from drug use, a fact many seem blissfully unaware of. Many people ingest these substances without truly knowing anything about them, trusting the words of a friend or a dealer off the street, failing to question what it is they are putting into their bodies. Going off what friends say, taking substances they haven’t researched is incredibly dangerous and is indeed risky. Diplo’s music video shows what could possibly happen when taking drugs, hoping to show an audience that serious complications really can happen. Many people have the mentality that “if so many other people take it I’ll be fine if I take it too” without understanding the nature of the drug and the drug dealing industry.

While it is true that Diplo has done something no other artist has done, and he does deserve credit for that, this video is seriously misleading. And it’s not the only one.

Following the death of two Electric Zoo attendees in 2013, this years ticket purchasers were required to watch a two minute video explaining the risks associated with taking Molly. The video shows a man rubbing white powder on his gums before sweating profusely and freaking out. The video ends with him fading out alone under glaring lights, presumably implying his death. The video ends with the phrase “Don’t miss the moment. Be present. Come to Life."

While these videos are intended to be informative, they are grossly misleading and reminiscent of the DARE movement in the 90’s. These videos, similar to drug education in almost every context simply tell the audience to “not take risks” and fail to give any useful information regarding drug safety information. These types of scare tactics have been in use for so long, and have done nothing to actually reduce drug use. More terrifying PSA videos aren’t the answer, a thorough and informational approach is. More often than not, if potential users were better educated on the drugs they are consuming they would elect not to take them.

However, drugs alone aren’t the issue, which media and PSA videos fail to recognize. They encourage abstinence, without giving any proper information to keep those who elect to take drugs safe. Perhaps a better slogan would be “know the risk your willing to take.” There is an immense lack of information on drug safety, as well as misinterpretation about drug related deaths. Very few drug related festival death have to do with overdose, as many sources report, but are instead caused by heatstroke and dehydration. Media chooses to overlook heatstroke as the main cause of death and zero in on this idea that drugs are the reason, pointing a finger to use an example against drug use. “If you use molly you will die like this person at that festival.” Which does nothing to protect users from actual causes of death that could be easily avoided if people know what they’re dealing with.


Article written by Ashley Kover 

Posted on October 27, 2014




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