Has the Faces of Meth campaign caused drug rehab programs more problems than they otherwise would cause? The campaign has been one of the most compelling anti-drug campaigns ever devised, but there are many concerns that have developed as a result.
Perhaps the worst of these concerns is the “not that bad” syndrome. Many addicts and alcoholics who have not plunged to the depths of misery and depravity that many of these unfortunate individuals have might think that they do not share the same disease. The problem is that their disease simply hasn’t brought them to that point…yet. The reality is, though, that many entering drug rehab programs do not realize just what impact the drug has had on them. Countless programs every year take “before” and “after” pictures to chronicle the changes that take place in these programs, and it is not until they are on the other side that they see the toll that has been exacted.
Drug rehab programs covers many different addiction symptoms.
Another issue that could keep people out of drug treatment and rehab programs is if a potential client does not suffer the same symptoms as those in the ads. Many addicts suffer from the idea that if they do not suffer the same symptoms as some of the subjects in these adds, then they must not be addicts—or at least that they need help yet. Addicts and alcoholics have a unique characteristic in which, if they don’t suffer all the exact same issues with at least the same degree of severity, then they will discard any notion that there is a problem.
Part of this stems from the gradual changes that take place. Although methamphetamine’s effects can be disastrous in a short time, these changes are still gradual enough to be dismissed consistently. Eventually, the number and severity of these changes become highly visible, but the nature of them can make them seem less severe until the disaster has come to pass.
The underlying, base issue that exists with all of these denial patterns is that all the Faces of Meth participants are based off of mug shots. However, mug shots are only taken if a person is arrested. If a person has not yet been arrested, the addict may assume that he or she must not be a candidate from drug rehab. Of course, arrest records have little to do with whether or not someone has alcoholism or addiction. Like the cancer patient who has an undiscovered tumor, the threat is still there whether or not it is currently making an impact on the person’s life.
Ultimately, the Faces of Meth campaign is most likely more helpful than harmful. While shocking pictures of the ravages of drugs bring attention to the issue, the reality is that sufferers of addiction do not have to sink to the depths that those individuals have. The most important thing that a campaign like this can do is inform people that if someone is a candidate for a drug rehab program, do not wait until the ravages of the drugs get to the levels that they see before them.