“This is your brain,” the voice of Emmy Award-Winning actress, Allison Janney, says as a hand shows you an egg. You look down at a hot skillet, hearing her say “this is drugs.” The egg drops and hits the surface, hissing and bubbling as it quickly cooks. “This is your brain on drugs,” she continues. “Any questions?”
The jarring television spot, entitled “Fried Egg 2016,” was directed by two-time Oscar winner Janusz Kaminski and might seem familiar to adults in their thirties. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America debuted the first version of the fried egg advertisement in the 1980s. For their thirtieth anniversary, they’ve created a slight reimagining of the widely watched PSA. They’ve also created versions for radio and print, rebranded as the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. The organization’s video continues, showing a number asking their parents questions.
The children who saw the first fried egg PSA are now parents themselves in many cases. Now called The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, they know that the challenges faced in the past are still here. Although abuse of prescription drugs is down overall, it remains a problem, and there are more dangerous substances at large. A 2012 CASA (the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse) study found that 90 percent of addictions begin in the teen years. The 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the MetLife Foundation reported that at least 3 out of 4 teens say they know people who use marijuana on a regular basis.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids knows people have questions about drugs. They encourage people to go to drugfree.org to find information and stay informed. As laws change and dangerous types of drugs rise in popularity, it’s important to have conversations. The evolution of the drug landscape never stops and neither should people looking to make positive changes.