January 25, 2010

Will "this is your face on meth" software get kids to say no to meth?

It's a great idea to appeal to the vanity of young folk, but if it's going to work, the "face on meth" can't seem cool. NPR put Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz through the software:



I'm afraid a lot of kids (and adults) would look at that transformation and think he got a lot cooler.

45 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Yes -- they really should use a face the kids know. How about the cast of Glee?

Lincolntf said...

Meth turns your eyes blue?
Or am I seeing things?

AllenS said...

At the Minnesota State Fair, there is an anti-meth booth. They have a lot of real before and after photos of exmeth users. Frightening.

natatomic said...

Beat me to it, Lincolntf. I was gonna ask the same thing!

Joan said...

They really need to show the on-meth teeth. Or lack thereof.

john said...

Well the guy lost his white shirt and suit jacket (and presumably his tie). That would be seen as pretty cool.

Otherwise, all these ads (the anti smoking ones too) are all too reminiscent of the drivers-ed shock pictures - the ones with the mangled teenagers wrapped around their steering wheels - we were shown back in high school. They had a stong effect .... until we got behind the wheel and began driving like nuts.

vet66 said...

The only people who would think the "my brain on meth photo" looked cool would be those who are already on meth!

Meth is a scourge and a killer. Take comfort in knowing the local pharmacy is cracking down on the rest of us with seasonal allegies..."No Benadryl/Contact for you if you purchase more than one package."

The Crack Emcee said...

Yea, they need to stick with the before and after photos of real people - those are devastating.

Scott M said...

I don't know about cooler, but the "after" image certainly looks way more like a character from a first-person shooter.

I suppose in that respect, yeah, it's a step in the wrong direction given that most of those FPS characters are designed to be "cool".

Pogo said...

It also makes your IQ drop a stunning amount. My daughter's old classmate is barely functional; she seems now to be retarded, where she used to be a good student.

"More recent studies have shown that long-term methamphetamine use is associated with impaired performance on a number of cognitive tasks. ...The methamphetamine group also displayed deficits in abstract reasoning and task shifting strategies. ...Clinically, methamphetamine-dependent individuals appear distractible and exhibit difficulties in sustaining attention.

Deficits in attentional inhibition, increased impulsivity, and impaired task-switching strategies may all be consequences of collective damage to the DA and 5-HT systems.
"

Neuropsychological Effects of Chronic Methamphetamine Use on Neurotransmitters and Cognition: A Review
Thomas E. Nordahl, M.D., Ph.D., Ruth Salo, Ph.D. and Martin Leamon, M.D.
J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 15:317-325, August 2003


And this cogntive damage is more likely to occur in adolescents because "immature limbic structures are more vulnerable to persistent effects of a single MA intoxication".
Long-term effects of a single adult methamphetamine challenge: Minor impact on dopamine fibre density in limbic brain areas of gerbils
Susanne Brummelte
Behavioral and Brain Functions 2006, 2:12doi




















Abstract
Full Text (PDF)
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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 15:317-325, August 2003

Christy said...

Okay, I find the morphed visage to be more interesting. I've always found faces that showed life experience more compelling than traditional good looks. The challenge is distinguishing those who carry unacceptable baggage. I know the look of an alcoholic. I don't know the look of a meth user, so the software is probably a good thing for those of us who live cocooned.

Is it unbelievably nasty of me to wonder what our president would look like? Yeah, I thought so.

Bob said...

Yah, they need to show "meth-mouth," have the folks in the images showing teeth, and the lack of teeth that comes with heavy meth use.

DADvocate said...

Judging from the two pix, kids will find this software more entertaining than frightening. As AllenS says, real before and after pix are quite frightening.

EDH said...

I'm afraid a lot of kids (and adults) would look at that transformation and think he got a lot cooler.

Indeed, the next step along that photo progression would seem to be this, where meth turns more than your eyes blue.

Chris said...

Well now I know what it takes to get rid of that puffy feminine look.

paul a'barge said...

Have him open his mouth and show his teeth.

k*thy said...

Real photos are frightening and compelling enough. I wonder, though, if it'd change the hell-bent mind of an addict.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't know about cooler, but the "after" image certainly looks way more like a character from a first-person shooter."

Exactly. Caused in part, I suppose, but computerizing the picture.

Tibore said...

Is it just me, or does that rendered picture remind you of Brian Austin Green?

Just sayin'...

Joseph said...

Interesting (if gimmicky) idea but terrible implementation. I agree with other commenters that photos of real people are probably more effective. They can achieve the same goal by making sure the before and after pics include a diverse spectrum of kids so that most kids will be able to see themselves or their friends in one or a few of them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is stupid. Why not just show them the

REAL THING

If this doesn't wake the kids up they deserve to die.

VW: dogylik. Bad dog...stop that!

bagoh20 said...

Very poor example. The after dude looks a lot more fit. Give him a shave and better lighting and you've got an ad FOR Meth.

Pogo said...

You might be able to warn off some kids because they see how it wrecks their teeth and face and makes them into retards, but others still go after it.

But our era seems to see more of this nihilistic checking out from reality than other times.
I wonder why that is?
I wonder what they are escaping from?

Scary pictures won't frighten folks bent on escape or self-destruction.

bagoh20 said...

Full disclosure: The after photo looks just like me. I'm neither a meth head nor interesting, but you already knew that.

bagoh20 said...

"I wonder what they are escaping from?"

Comfort and boredom. We just were not designed to have such easy lives without constant life and death struggles - so we create them.

Chris said...

Part of the reason scary pictures aren't scary to kids is that the pictures show people at the far end of the damage curve after years of abuse. Most people who get into hard drugs don't think in terms of those sorts of time horizons. The most effective drug prevention program is to hang out with people who don't use drugs.

knox said...

MadisonMan is Officially Obsessed with Glee.

traditionalguy said...

The war face to scare away other males away from attacking you is valuable equiptment in a world full of adolescent bullies. As said about the sex change candidate yesterday, the Government run school that refuses to protect victims from bullies is the first cause of this defense reaction behavior. So young men may see meth as a tool to survive rather than as a loss of social standing among the goody goodies.

DADvocate said...

I'm neither a meth head nor interesting...

Getting past denial is the first step to recovery.

If you look at Jason Statham of the Transporter movies, whom the kids think is super cool, you would have an after pix similar to the one Ann shows.

tim maguire said...

They have to use real examples. A computer simulation is just a game.

Chris said...

@TG, I hadn't thought of that. Seems extremely plausible.

Pogo said...

"The most effective drug prevention program is to hang out with people who don't use drugs."

In a lot of high schools that can mean significant social isolation, unfortunately.

We have made a generation of users.

PC said...

Very similar to this:

http://methfree.mesacounty.us/uploadedImages/Methfree/Images/addictfacesofmethL.jpg

In that photo, Ms. 8 Months of Use definitely got hotter.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We have made a generation of users

Attrition.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Maybe the generation of meth users should use the "death booths" suggested by Mr. Amis first.

William said...

I think Humphrey Bogart sold more cigarettes than the Marlboro man. Humphrey flat out knew how to smoke a cigarette. Very existential. We're all doomed anyway, so let us enjoy these few, fleeting pleasures before our glorious, glamourous doom....Hollywood does the same thing with drugs. They feature wildly attractive people having interesting, unboring lives while they struggle with their addictions. The protagonost generally achieves redemption and leaves no wreckage behind. I enjoyed watching True Blood, but that series was probably underwritten by the Meth Producers of America.

William said...

I think this has relevance to the recent Supreme Court case concerning lobbying. There have been huge ad campaigns warning kids about drugs since the dawn of time. But every year some high school kid emulsifies Preparation H and discovers some grand new way of frying his brain. Pretty soon it's a huge underground fad. And all your prayers and warnings just make it seem more darkly alluring.....If after all these years, the fiendishly clever minds on Mad Ave have not been able to come up with a way to make something as patently toxic as drugs look uncool, what are the chances that Exxon will convince Jeremy that drilling for oil in Anwar is the way to go.

Leland said...

I thought Dr. House was addicted to vicodin?

Beth said...

You have to show the teeth to make the transformed face "uncool." Meth teeth are nasty.

The skin's not right, either; it should be blotchy, dry, patchy.

Beth said...

Whoops - joan, I see you already pointed out the teeth thing.

Joe said...

Just show people my neighbor.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes, the meth picture does look like a first person shooter character. Some kind of hardened, mercenary-type. Pretty much the epitome of what teenage boys find cool.

Fail.

Eric said...

They really need to show the on-meth teeth. Or lack thereof.

And sores. People who've done meth for awhile end up with unsightly facial lesions.

The concept is reasonable, but the execution poor.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Locally we have a paper that is nothing but mug shots with the crimes the person was charged with under them. They charge money for copies! Pick one of these up and sit down with your kids, it will be a lot more educational and a lot more fun. Oh, and the meth faces are a hell of a lot more ugly.

Largo said...

The second pic is after the spice. He's got that gaunt fremen look. No water fat on him.