In 2005, The Meth Project, an anti-meth campaign, began producing emotional and disturbing commercials to communicate the risks of meth use. Photographers Omeed Malekmarzban and Gavin Colavito debate the necessity of these graphic television ads.
Despite society’s constant attempts to cleanse people of addiction, it is still a prevalent issue. One of the most common and dangerous in this country today is meth addiction. A series of anti-meth commercials by Darren Aronofsky have been under the spotlight from the moment they aired on public airwaves in 2007. To say the least, the commercials are disturbing, and to some, even sickening.Yet sadly, they grossly depict the dirty truth. To some, the commercials may be over-the-top for television. However, it is compulsory to reveal the truth to our youth about meth usage instead of sugar-coating the facts. Young people need to know how horrifying these situations are, and they need to know that saying “I’m doing meth just once” will almost never end happily, as depicted by many of Aronofsky’s PSAs.
Many anti-meth groups such as the Arizona and Colorado Meth Projects have publicly supported Aronofsky’s commercials and say that they will continue to support any anti-meth commercials in the future. Thomas Siebel, founder of the National Meth Project, said to Forbes magazine, “(The Meth Project and its commercials) have greatly affected the national drug-control policy.” The Meth Project continues to thrive and receive more donations, which it uses for more commercials.
Aronofsky’s ads are quintessential to the termination of widespread meth use. By ridding them we would do a great disservice to those at risk for future meth usage.
To put it lightly, these ads are absolutely horrifying. They should have never been put on the air.
They made their way into the mainstream through outlets like YouTube, attached to videos that viewers might stumble upon. I don’t agree with these commercials for one major reason: these commercials were airing on television when there were smaller children watching. If I had nightmares for one night, imagine what might happen to a young child who watched them.
Now, I understand that these ads were supposed to be a scare tactic to get teenagers not to try meth, and yes, I understand that there are a lot of graphic shows on television, but there is a line where “graphic” becomes “so-terrifying-that-it-gives-me-nightmares.” These commercials don’t just cross the line; they destroy it.
The Meth Project Foundation could have done something a little less harsh to try to prevent methamphetamine usage. For instance, they could have several popular musicians and bands come together and have a concert to help raise funds to build and support rehab centers around the country.
These ads are absolutely appalling, and they shouldn’t have been aired on television because there are definitely better ways to try to prevent meth use in teens.