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Converse with Frank is the extensive running anti-drug movement the UK has had. But has it actually worked and stopped drug use?

Drug education in the UK was changed forever ten years ago when a Swat team raided a quiet suburban kitchen. Cautions of how drugs could cause you to become disturbed and impassioned calls to say no to the menacing pushers skulking in every single playground disappeared. A lighter, more humorous approach was used instead.


In the first advertisement a teenager phoned a police team to detain his mother when she proposed that they had a peaceful discussion regarding drugs. There was also a new message Drugs are illegal. Talking about the isn't. So talk to Frank."


Frank Friendly Confidential Drug Advice

An idea that started with someone's mother, Frank was now the new name of the National Drugs Helpline. The idea was to build a reliable "older brother" image that could provide advice to teenagers about banned substances. To become a familiar brand with youth in the UK, the Frank label has presented everything from the adventures of pablo the drug mule to a tour of a brain warehouse.


Significantly, Frank was never found in the flesh, so would never be the objective of joke for wearing the wrong trainers or attempting to be "down with the children," says Justin Tindall, inventive director of ad organization Leo Burnett. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. One more thing that distinguishes Frank from other government-funded campaigns is that nothing links the ad to the government in anyway whatsoever.

Teaching people about drugs is now approached in a different way, not like the days of Nancy Reagan in the UK and the cast of Grange Hill in the UK, who told us to "Just Say No" to drugs; it is evident this did not work.


Frank has set the standard, and now most adverts in Europe are using the same format to equip the youth with unbiased facts to help in making their choices. In some places where there are still tough penalties for possession, ads showing prison bars or disappointed parents are still the norm. You play, you pay. is the ad used to warn young people going for night clubbing in Singapore.

In the UK, the Above the Influence campaign has cost the federal government millions of dollars and uses humour and cautionary stories to encourage people to choose positive alternatives to drugs In the ad, teenagers are communicated to in a manner they are familiar with, like some "stoners" being marooned on a couch. But the drug fuelled descent into hell and scare tactics are still used by a surprisingly large number of campaigns around the world. One typical example was a part of the Canadian DrugsNot4Me program showed an attractive, confident young woman then into a wasting, hollow eyes shadow at the hand of drugs.

Inquire about into a UK anti-drugs movements in the vicinity of 1999 and 2004 proposes promotions demonstrating the antagonistic impacts of medication mishandle can regularly empower youngsters "on the edges of society" to explore different avenues regarding drugs.


The opposition Conservative politicians were initially against Frank, simply because it pointed out the ups and downs of drug use, but it made giant strides.


An early ad posted online told viewers, "Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world."

Hitting the middle road with an ad to give the right message always proved to be a challenge. The person behind this cocaine ad has said that he now thinks he thought the average person browsing the web had a longer attention span. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. The idea behind the ad according to Powell is to make the Frank brand a more honest one by being sincere to teenagers about drugs.

According to the Home Office, 67% of younger people in a survey stated that they would ask Frank if they required advice on drugs. A total of 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and a total of 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. The argument is that this is proof that the approach is working.

Though, like with any other anti-drug media campaign around the globe, there's no proof that Frank has stopped people to use substances.

Substance use in the United Kingdom has decreased by 9% in the ten years since the campaign was introduced, though the pros say a lot of this is because of a decline in the use of cannabis use, probably connected to younger people's changing attitudes towards smoking tobacco.


Frank - What Is It?

FRANK is a national service that offers drug education and was formed in 2003 by the Department of Health in partnership with Home Office of the British government. It's main aim is to inform young people about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, so as to bring down the rate of consumption of both legal and illegal drugs. A lot of media campaigns have been put out on both the radio and the internet.


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Services

FRANK gives the accompanying services to individuals who look for data and/or advice regarding drugs

  • A website
  • A 24 hour telephone line that is strictly confidential
  • Email
  • An anonymous live chat every afternoon 2-6pm
  • A service to find treatment and counselling