Empower Youth to Fight the New Drug
In 1997 a small office in Florida launched the "Tobacco Pilot Programme." Rather than challenging the industry directly, the initiative set out with a unique goal —"to drive a wedge between the tobacco industry's advertising and a youth audience." After a careful survey of the attitudes of local youth, the program set out to educate youth in creative and edgy ways about the "truth" about smoking. Thirteen years later, after the programme spread across the USA, its wide ranging impact on smoking rates is well-known. According to research, the decline in youth smoking attributable to this campaign equates to some 300,000 fewer youth smokers and thus millions of added life years as well as tremendous reductions in health care and social costs.
More broadly, this effort illustrated the potential of a youth movement - mobilizing youth through grassroots advocacy and a youth-centred education aimed to incite their impulse to "rebel"— this time, in a good direction. What this campaign had discovered, of course, was not new or radical. Public health had been learning the same thing in its wildly successful campaigns against small-pox, diphtheria, measles and polio. Education works!
A New Drug
You have probably heard some horrifying stories of how children, especially teenagers, got brain-damaged through attempting a skateboard stunt, or through playing a high-impact sport such as rugby. You have probably also seen the devastating impact of drug addiction on teenagers in your area. Few people, however, are talking about another dangerous risk to the mind and brain – a new drug. Neuroscientists have found that pornography is just as addictive as hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine. You might be thinking, “But how is it like a drug? You can’t sniff it or smoke it!”
Pornography has been around for a long time but scientists are just beginning to understand how exposure to pornography affects you – how the effects of pornography on your brain are similar to those of hard drugs. The frontal lobes are the ‘brake’ and the decision making centre of your brain. Viewing pornography rewires the brain and even causes the frontal lobes to shrink in the same way that an addiction to hard drugs such as LSD or heroin would. It’s no wonder why addicts can’t think straight or control their behaviour.
Contact us to Arrange a Presentation at Your School’s Assembly
Fight the New Drug USA has put together an engaging, multi-media, youth-orientated presentation designed to educate teens on the harmful effects of pornography using science, facts and personal testimonies. They have given hundreds of presentations at schools across the USA with encouraging results.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Much time and resources have been put into developing a presentation that does not cause curiosity by going into graphic detail or giving them any information on how to find it. We focus on the effects of pornography rather than pornography itself. We do this by discussing the brain science of addiction and how there are potential physical, psychological and social effects to pornography.
We believe that parents are an essential part of the solution. Our efforts are focused around peer-to-peer encouragement to help redefine the social norms and help them understand that pornography is not cool and has harmful effects. This will help teens feel more comfortable openly discussing the issue with their parents.
I have been approved by Fight the New Drug USA to give these presentations here in South Africa. I have over 12 years of experience in youth work and have recently published a book on the harmful effects of pornography, particularly in South African context, called Porndemic – How the Pornography Plague Affects You and What You Can Do About It.I will also draw on the help of young men who can speak effectively on this topic and Clive Human from STOP who runs a support group for men wanting to overcome their addiction to porn.
Where appropriate, the presentation can include testimonies, Gospel-presentations and Biblical principles for sexual purity.
Empower Your Youth
To see an examples of schools assembly presentations in the USA visit www.fightthenewdrug.org . Download a Sample Letter to send to your school’s Principal or Youth Leader, requesting that she/he contacts us to arrange a presentation.
Download our Fight the New Drug tract.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
7735 Cape Town
Tel: 021-689 4481
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