This particular psa shows the deterioration of a fresh faced young blonde who just wanted to “party all night” so she takes cocaine to keep her going at random parties where she drinks and gets very inebriated, stumbles, and has a strange man whisper in her ear– until we reach the point where she no longer greets her parents on her way out to parties but sneaks past them. Then we reach the teeth of the ad. We see the girl sprawled on the floor of a bathroom, next scene her friends are bringing her to the hospital where she falls to her knees and cries out. There’s a close up on her smeared mascara as she continues to cry, you can see her lipstick is gone and replaced with light bruising around the lips.
So what are the health consequences of cocaine as stated by this commercial? Take coke, lose control, get raped. One might think that in a drug awareness psa about something as potent as cocaine, you could fall back on old reliable of addiction and the dangers to your health to communicate the message.
The websites fast facts about cocaine emphasize the coming down, depression, aspect of it–so I looked at the ad again, maybe that’s what they were trying to get across. Mm…no, one isn’t regularly carried into the er for depression and they never demonstrate the girl’s addiction to the drug, just increasingly wan appeareance coupled with more and more inebriation. No, I don’t think it’s an accident that the ad plays out the way it does. But isn’t it nice to know that drug psas are injecting fear of rape into drug awareness?