National Drug Control Policy essay
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The effects of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy has been well articulated in the Philip Palmgreen, Elizabeth P. Lorch, Michael T. Stephenson, Rick H. Hoyle, and Lewis Donohew article on the Marijuana Initiative Campaign on High-Sensation-Seeking Adolescents (Palmgreen, Lorch, Stephenson, Hoyle, & Donohew, 2007). The objective of this research was to assess the effects of Marijuana Initiative started by the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign on both high-seeking and low-seeking sensation adolescents. In their paper they have given clear research finding that indicate the effects of the efforts being made by the ONDCP to eradicate illicit drugs and in this case they are dealing with marijuana (Palmgreen et al, 2007).
Marijuana can be smoke like a cigarette or smoked from a pipe or bong. It is the most used illegal drug with about 104 million kids aged 12 and over having used it once. Marijuana is a mixture of leaves, seeds, stems, and flowers of cannabis sativa; it appears as a green, gray or brown mixture. The main chemical in marijuana is called delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which has short-term effects on the memory, giving distorted perception and having difficulty in solving problems and thinking, increasing heart rate, and also causes anxiety and loss of coordination.
The impact of the Marijuana Initiative was measured by carrying out a research before, during and after the campaign. The methods that were used were quite effective since individual interviews were conducted through laptop computers. 100 randomly selected youths were selected monthly over a period of 48 months. This would ensure that the data collected was both representative and an accurate representation of the situation with very little deviation from the reality on the ground. The campaign ran from April 1999 -March 2003. During this time the survey was conducted, there was 6 months that was part of the 9 month initiative by the ONDCP (Palmgreen et al, 2007).
The method used was good since it ensured confidentiality and anonymity which would encourage the level of participation among the target population. The period of the survey is also long enough to give an accurate data collection that would certainly reflect on the real situation on the ground. From the report, the initiative was previously treated as an interruption in the analysis of the community sample. The random groups of 100 adolescents selected each month were from the same age group and from 2 medium-sized communities, thus one can say that the method used was thorough and effective (Palmgreen et al, 2007).
This initiative by the ONDCP had an almost immediate effect on the trend of marijuana among the target population. In 30 days, high-sensation-seeking adolescents registered a significant decrease on the marijuana use. Also, the attitudes that had been observed previously changed and now there were few adolescents with positive attitudes towards the use of marijuana. However these positive results were not reflected among the low-sensation-seeking youths who had a low level-use of marijuana, although this was the expected result. The initiative dramatic results were brought about by the extensive campaign depicting the negative effects of marijuana use (Palmgreen et al, 2007).
Since the campaign was conducted there has been a downward trend in the use of marijuana as well as its trafficking and manufacture. Other researches have shown that the arrests done by the police on people in possession of marijuana have dropped over the years. It is clear from the report that the Marijuana Initiative is responsible for this downward trend since before it was conducted the trend had shown and increase in marijuana use. However, it is important to note that the campaign is not the only factor that has contributed to this decrease but also other initiatives done by the Anti-drug agencies (Palmgreen et al, 2007).
According to Palmgreen et al, 2007 report, the dramatic results were principally due to the awareness done on the negative effects of marijuana, thus the report concludes that effective campaign on prevention of substance use can be achieved if negative consequences of the substance are depicted in the messages targeted the high-sensation seeking population (Palmgreen et al,. 2007).
This report is a good resource material and gives clear objectives of the research as well as the method used to collect the data and the criteria used. The results are also well reported showing how the campaign affected the target population and the time it took for the campaign to register results. The conclusion gives a viable solution on how substance prevention campaigns should be conducted (Palmgreen et al, 2007).