THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN CREATING AWARENESS AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
1.1 Background to the Study
Mass media have been a major agent of socialization and tool for social change especially now that people depend on message from mass media. The potential power of the mass media help solve social problems. television, radio and print advertising can entice people to buy a wide range of products and services, and newspaper messages and advertisement influence our ideas, values and behaviour.
According to conventional wisdom, it could be possible to use mass communications to get people to act on behalf of their own health and well-being or to do right things. Based on this assumption, since World War II, the federal, state and local governments, private foundations and other non-governmental organizations have sponsored hundreds of public service campaigns to promote social rather than commercial “goods” (DeJong and Winsten, 2000).
It is not surprising, then, that prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of high-risk drinking in society. Some advocates have pushed for reform or other restrictions on alcohol advertising. Others have sought to influence entertainment producers to end the glorification of high-risk drinking on newspaper, magazine, television and in the movies (Montgomery, 2009). More recently, prevention advocates have produced a small number of media campaigns designed to change students and youth knowledge, attitudes and behavior.
Most media campaigns focused on college students drinking which have been campus based, using a mix of posters, flyers, electronic mail messages and college newspaper advertisements. More recently, a few regional, state and national media campaigns have begun to address this issue as well.
Therefore, this study is out to examine the mass media especially the print in creating awareness against drug abuse.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The continuous abuse of these drugs has lead to a situation of drug addiction and the addict developing a bondage to the drug.
The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole. Yet this problem is on the increase especially among those in higher institution of learning. Which is a serious threat to our national sanctity.
How well can print media as a vehicle for information dissemination be relied upon to perform its role in the society, to join hand in the battle against drug abuse?
How can the power of the mass media be used effectively to reduce high-risk drinking among people? To explore that question, this research begins by reviewing three types of mass media campaigns focused on drinking: information, social norms marketing, and advocacy.
Theses and many more questions is what the study is out to find answers to.
1.3 Research Questions
• Does the Media educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
• Has mass media awareness campaign on drug abuse reduced the unlawful use of drug in society?
• Is mass media faced with any difficulty in creating awareness on drug abuse?
• Does Mediate promote drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
• Does Media educate and enlighten the general public on the bad effects of drug abuse?