Communications and campaigns
Communications have a key role in addressing the harms caused by drugs.
Our knowledge of effective communications has developed substantially since the 1998 drug strategy. We now offer credible and well-used drug advice and information using the media most used by our target audience (internet, magazines, and social networking sites).
Key 2008 drug strategy communication actions are:
improve support and information for parents
extend the use of FRANK
develop better community-based communications
more national events
Improve support and information for parents
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the Home Office and the Department of Health lead on communications campaigns targeted at young people and families.
We will bring together a partnership of leading young people's and parents' organisations to engage and communicate with parents. This will enable us to find out what information and support can be provided to parents to help them tackle drug related problems.
Parents of children who may be at increased risk will be particularly targeted to give them the facts about drugs. This will enable them to have a positive influence over their children in an informed way. DCSF will also explore combining messages to parents across a range of issues.
Extend the use of FRANK
We remain committed to the FRANK campaign. This will use a mix of media and technologies to talk to young people about the risks and effects of drug use. Local partnerships will receive support to run local drug awareness campaigns with links to FRANK where appropriate.
In line with the government's alcohol strategy, research will be undertaken to develop an evidence base for an alcohol campaign targeting under 18s.
Following completion of the DCSF review of drug education, FRANK will:
complement wider drug education objectives
become a portal for young people to access drug treatment or support
offer a supported online programme for cannabis users
Develop better community-based communications
The Home Office and partner agencies have lead responsibility for effective communications to make communities safer. Together we will develop wider communications for communities affected by drug-related crime. The roll out of Neighbourhood Policing will ensure that communities know how to report drug-related crime and increase understanding of what is being done to tackle it.
Work will be undertaken with local agencies to reduce public perception of drug use and dealings in their area. Local partnerships will inform and reassure communities that drug use and dealing is being tackled. For example, we will support and champion the roll-out of local campaigns such as 'Rat on a Rat' which maximises community intelligence, identifying drug dealers and disrupting drug markets.