Home > National Drugs Awareness Campaign - Phase 3.

Keane, Martin (2005) National Drugs Awareness Campaign - Phase 3. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 15, Autumn 2005, p. 7.

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 The National Drugs Awareness campaign was launched in May 2003 under the prevention, education and awareness pillar of the National Drugs Strategy 2001–2008. The three-year campaign aims to provide information about the dangers of drug misuse to the general population. The first and second phases of the campaign were targeted at the general population and parents respectively. The objectives were to provide information which enable people to make the right choices and to encourage more open communication between parents and children.

The third phase of the National Drugs Awareness Campaign began in July 2005. This phase begins a concerted focus on the dangers of mixing cocaine with other drugs, especially alcohol. According to the information provided on the [no longer exists] website, ‘cocaine when taken with alcohol combines in the system to form another drug, Cocaethylene, which is more toxic than either drug alone. Cocaethylene can seriously affect the normal functioning of the heart and has been a contributory factor in many cocaine related deaths’. This phase of the campaign includes placing posters in the restrooms of 70 large entertainment venues throughout Ireland in conjunction with messages on beer mats in pubs and clubs and print advertisement in the national press. The posters use the imagery of nursery rhyme characters to illustrate the dangers associated with mixing cocaine and alcohol. 

It remains to be seen to what extent providing information and heightening awareness can bring about a change in individual and group behaviour. Nonetheless, people have a right to accurate information on the risks associated with particular forms of behaviour, such as consuming alcohol in combination with cocaine use. This latest phase of the campaign, targeting recreational cocaine users in the club and pub scene, is an important step in providing accurate information in a relevant setting.

Following an open tendering competition, the National Advisory Committee on Drugs commissioned Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn and Dr Jane Sixsmith of the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway, to track the development and delivery of the campaign. A final report is due at the beginning of 2006.  

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Issue Title
Issue 15, Autumn 2005
July 2005
Page Range
p. 7
Health Research Board
Issue 15, Autumn 2005
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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