Countdown synopsis: Drugs, drugs, drugs – which are good, which are bad?” – as the famous jingle goes. Unfortunately, there are no ‘good’ drugs featured in this countdown, I’m afraid. They’re all bad. On today’s journey, we touch up on things like cocaine, heroin, meth, marijuana… nearly all of it if I’m honest. Now, it’s easy to tell someone that “drugs are bad” but the question is, how bad are they?” – turns out, they are frighteningly bad. Well, according to these commercials anyway. When it comes to anti-drug commercials, organisations such as the Montana Meth Project and the previously known Partnership for a Drug-Free America pull no punches when it comes to producing very macabre and effective PSAs. Some of them are subtle in their approach yet still manage to be effective towards their subject matter. Others, are truly horrifying and disturbing – holding no boundaries in order to emotionally involve you and to mentally scar you for life. How exciting. So without further ado, grab your popcorn, strap yourself in and let’s kick off this blog post. This is going to be a big one.

“This is where he went into convulsions. This is the Emergency Room where he nearly died. This is where he smoked it again, right after he got out. This is where he hung himself, because he said he couldn’t quit. And this is what I said, when he told me he was going to try meth… (silence)”

– The Montana Meth Project, “Ben” commercial

50: “Hip Choice” – Concerned Children’s Advertisers, 1993 (Canada)

The first ad on this list is a very subtle commercial made by the Concerned Children’s Advertisers of Canada. We can immediately tell this commercial is aimed at children, with the use of weird-looking puppets. Baring in mind, these are the same people who brought you the other commercial which also used creepy blue puppets with eyes that stare straight into your soul, singing to children about not putting things in their mouth. In this commercial though, two child puppets (with abnormally sized bottom lips) are casually wandering down a dark and spooky alleyway, when a Rod Stewart looking drug dealer (wearing a horrible purple turtle-neck, leather jacket and sunglasses… seriously, is that what drug dealers are supposed to look like?) asks them, “Have you ever thought about taking drugs?” – “I’ve never really thought about it…” the boy innocently answers. What we see next is the drug dealer just casually handing over a bunch of needles, pills and other drug paraphernalia to the children, as you normally do. I’m no expert on drug-dealing (or am I? – plot twist), but seriously… aren’t you suppose to be a bit more discreet than this? Like maybe have one of those long cloaks where you stash all the goods in the inside pockets, like they do in the movies? No? Well, what do I know. After an 80s-styled guitar riff for impact, the kids decide that, “this trip’s not worth the time!” and sassily stroll away from him, like a “bitch, f**k you” sort of stroll. When the camera pans towards him he takes off his sunglasses, revealing very swollen-looking, crusty, bloodshot eyes… sexy! Seriously though, it’s bit creepy for a children’s drugs commercial, don’t you think? Stick to your music career Rod, and stop following children down dark alleyways and offering them drugs!

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49: “Circles” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1990 (USA)

Starring a young John Michael Higgins, we see a reasonably normal-looking man snort some coke off of some weird stick-thingy and gradually spiral (literally) into a drug-dependent life. “I do coke… so I can work longer… so I can earn more… so I can do more coke…” he repeatedly assures himself, and begins to walk round in circles, in the centre of a small white room – again and again and again, until he eventually fades out into nothingness. What I personally find unsettling about this advert is the creepily sung “I’m always chasing rainbows…” while the man diminishes. It’s like he’s singing right into your ear next to you, and all you want to do is just turn around and hit him straight in the face. It’s also unusual for a PSA to have a ‘The End’ credit too. Bit odd. Which sums up this PSA in general, actually. The first time I watched this, it left me with a “wtf did I just watch?” sort of feeling. So I re-watched it, hoping to gain some sort of understanding, but to no avail. I guess they made this commercial to try and highlight that maybe not all cocaine users, which some people would’ve believed, are working-class individuals from socially deprived areas of who are near the end of the socio-economic hierarchy. Maybe they wanted to show that cocaine users could also be your ‘Average Joe’, white-collar sort of people. But then again, I’ve also heard that cocaine is expensive, and that it’s only the ‘wealthier’ people who take it. Not like I would know that, obviously… (rubs nose).

48: “Party All Night” –, 2008 (USA)

They said if I did coke, I could party all night. They lied.” Well of course they did, you silly buffoon. This is one of the many commercials produced by an organisation much like the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. However the ads from are much more ‘tame’ in my opinion. They focus less on the shock-tactics, but instead follow fictional victims of peer-pressure to highlight the consequences of drug abuse in a more dramatic style. They’re like mini soap operas. In this one, we see a pretty blonde, who’s the typical party girl getting ready to do what she does best – solving complex mathematical equations? No, of course not… it’s partying! Or at least it’s fun until the drugs kick in. She ends up snorting some coke on the backseat of a limousine (very posh, though – you have to give her that one!) while some cheesy Britney Spears styled pop song plays in the background. Once the coke is up her nose, that’s when things spiral out of control. She gets too drunk, falls into a pool, begins dancing on tables, has a mental breakdown in the nightclub toilets, and then ends up in a hospital. Sounds like a great party to me! You still managed to party all night, love – just not that sort of party. Party in the ER, more like. All aboard the cocaine train: next stop… the Emergency Room! 

47: “Pablo The Drug Mule Dog” – FRANK, 2008 (UK)

This advert isn’t really ‘scary’ in terms of content because, as you can tell by watching it, it is rather humorous. But it is still rather grim and dark in terms of its black comedy. Our friend “Pablo the Drug Mule Dog” is voiced by no other than British comedian David Mitchell, who stars alongside Robert Webb in ‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’ and ‘Peep Show’, for all you fellow Brits reading. We see an inanimate stuffed dog (real or fake, I’m not sure – but he looks pretty real to me) lying in a basement with a large hole in his abdomen, when he asks, “You know that feeling when you wake up in a basement with a massive gaping hole in your chest? No? Well I’ve had better mornings.” He finds out he’s been used as a drug mule to smuggle cocaine (a bit like a Kinder Surprise), so we follow him on his short quest in order to find out, “What’s the big deal with coke?” – talking to drug dealers, partygoers, and even a bloodied nostril. Yes, you heard me correctly – we talk to an actual nostril. At the end of the advert, Pablo becomes so frustrated he decides to go to a phone box, “… and talk to FRANK. Finally, someone who made sense.” Yes, Pablo… finally! This advert was getting weirder and weirder by the second. It makes me question whoever thought of the concept for this advert must have been taking something to come up with this. It’s absolutely random and absurd, but I like it.

46: “Cleaning Girl” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1997 (USA)

This is an alternative version to what I think is probably my most favourite anti-drugs commercial of all time. I was tempted just to stick the original one in here, but once I found the alternative version, this was the perfect opportunity for me to showcase it! (I know, I’m very sad). Once again we see the same pretty young woman scrubbing her bathroom with a toothbrush, but this time a more alternative rock version of the original “Meth, mmmm meth!” song plays in the background. Like the more familiar version, the cleaning with her toothbrush becomes excessive as she begins to clean her whole house, while we see her attempt to pluck out hairs from her scalp, pick at the abrasions on her skin and convulse into a dark closet, while her physical appearance deteriorates into that of a meth addict. I actually stumbled upon this version accidentally whilst searching for the director of the original one. It turned out she also done a second version. And when I watched it, I was amazed at its existence. It was like I just found a lost gem, like I was Indiana Jones or something. I still prefer the original one over this one though – the gospel-sounding a cappella version just gives it more depth, bizarrely. It almost makes me want to twerk. It often pops into my head while I’m cleaning, and I end up singing it to myself. Whoever came up with this jingle needs a Grammy or something in my opinion. It’s genius.

45: “Crash” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2002 (USA)

What starts out like a typical advert advising you to wear a seatbelt or something to that effect, actually turns out to be an anti-marijuana ad – and you don’t tend to see many of them, funnily enough. Moving on, this advert is very eerie in terms of its effects – for some reason when things are played backwards in slow motion, especially car crashes, it’s just something that unnerves me. Even if the occupants are a bunch of dummies. It’s probably due to that seatbelt ad from my childhood which scarred me for life. I’ve run out of things to say about this ad now. Let’s move on.

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44: “Final Lesson” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1988 (USA)

Here’s the first of a few 80s anti-drugs commercials from those at Partnership for a Drug-Free America. This one focuses on parents and the dangers of not advising their children about drugs. A camera pans around a girl’s bedroom, focusing on different memorabilia from her childhood. We can tell that this girl has achieved many things in her life – we see glimpses of tennis trophies, childhood pictures exemplifying her success, and even a telescope. This girl almost had it all… almost. You would think her parents have taught her well… right? Wrong. Obviously in a commercial like this, we know what’s coming. All through her growing up, Susie’s parents taught her well… but for all their love and attention, was one lesson left untaught.” We then see a glass bong smash off the floor, oh yes… now we’re getting somewhere! “Susie’s parents never taught her about drugs. They never told her that drugs maim… drugs KILL. So Susie learned one final lesson on her own.” What final lesson was that then, kids? Learning how to twerk? Of course not. It was to not do drugs, obviously – because they f*ck you up. Fo’ real. And now, she’s dead. Well that’s the state I presume she’s in, with the ambulance outside n’all and the emphasis on the word “KILL.” Poor Susie. If only her parents had taught her that drugs kill… who knows? Maybe she could’ve learned how to twerk after all. I don’t really see why there is so much emphasis on the parents though… why should parents get the full blame if their children turn to drugs? Surely they teach things like this in school anyway? You never hear people say drugs are good, do you? Well, maybe the occasional pothead would say otherwise.

43: “Crackhead Bob” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

Now this is a weird one. No offence to Crackhead Bob, obviously. I just mean the ad in general. We see a deserted, traditional-looking American classroom with the only occupant being a man named Bob Harvey, aka Crackhead Bob. We see him attempt to recite the alphabet – however it is quite clear that he is unable to do it correctly, often pausing out of forgetfulness or frustration much like how a 4-year-old would. We begin to ask how a grown man like himself cannot recite something simple as the alphabet. Turns out, it is because Bob has permanent brain damage due to crack cocaine. Very deep stuff. I don’t even know how to conclude this entry. A very simple one, yet very poignant and original. The realism of this commercial almost sends shivers down your spine… yes, he is a real person! Google him and see for yourself.

42: “Inquisitive Kid” – FRANK, 2005 (UK)

Looking back I must admit, how the hell did this ad even make the countdown?” – I can’t even remember putting it in there. Okay, that’s a lie… I admit. But it’s more irritating than “scary”. Oh well, let’s just make do. Anyway, I remember ever-so-well this advert being played on telly. It was more-or-less played on every single ad break, especially on MTV and other music channels, probably to addresses clubbers and partygoers alike. I must have been about 10-years-old when this was airing, and I think it aired for a couple of years. I certainly remember it being played throughout late 2006/early 2007, too. I must admit that (at the time), I was quite creeped out by this weird, overly hyperactive squeaky little tw*t. I mean… what the hell is wrong with him?! And where the hell are his parents – running up a meth lab? It is clear that this kid hasn’t taken any of his prescribed ADHD medication. He would much rather chase after druggies and irritate them with his piercing voice that can only be described as that of those screaming Mandrakes from Harry Potter. And the fact he randomly shows up out of nowhere whenever someone is drugging themselves up, is a bit of a worry. I wonder if the actor that played the boy in this ad, ever regretted it? I wonder if he ever got teased for being so highly annoying, just like how that other annoying kid from the Frosties commercial got teased for appearing in the most annoying commercial known to man. Anyways, it makes you think of what the kid looks like now, I would love to know. Bet he isn’t much of a squeaky tw*t anymore, though… you know… with the puberty n’all that.

41: “Frying Pan” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

In this next ad, we see a young Rachael Leigh Cook egg-cellently smash up a kitchen with a frying pan while reciting all the things in life heroin takes away from you. Of course, to all of you reading this who have considerable knowledge of PSAs in general, you might know that this PSA is a more ‘modern’ version of the original 1987 version This Is Your Brain On Drugs, which stars John Roselius. This 1998 version though, is way more psychotic. We see Rachael standing in a modern-looking kitchen holding a frying pan and an egg. Is she going to make herself some lovely fried eggs for breakfast?” you may be asking. Of course not. She demonstrates that the egg represents “your brain” and the frying pan represents “heroin” – and then psychotically exhibits, “what happens to your brain, after starting heroin…” [WALLOP] This is taking the term ‘beating eggs’ to a whole new level. She goes from nought-to-psychotic in under 3 seconds, violently smacking the pan off the egg and it splotches everywhere! Messy girl. The lovely, runny yolk seeping down her hand when she lifts the pan back up represents, “what your body goes through…” and just when we think we can take a breather after her very aggressive display of beating an egg (quite literally) – “… wait. It’s not over yet…” – uh oh. She then proceeds to smash up the whole entire kitchen, breaking plates, glasses, clocks, lampshades – the lot – one by one of which are meant to represent, “your family… your friends… your money… and your job… and your self-respect… and YOUR FUTURE.” We can see in the next shot the kitchen is completely destroyed while Rachael calms herself down by throwing the pan on the countertop below. Bloody hell. What was all that about?! And judging by the faint noise of city ambience and greenery outside the windows, this has got to be a real apartment – meaning somebody has to clean this mess up… and it’s not going to be me! “Any questions?” she concludes. Yeah I have a question… what kind of drugs are you on? Oh and also, check out the spoof to this ad the folks at Robot Chicken made, it’s quite hilarious.

40: “Diving Board” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1989 (USA)

This is another ad that is simple to begin with, but then it hits you at the very end. You’ll get what I mean when you watch it (if you haven’t already seen it, that is – or if you haven’t cheated by looking at the screenshot below, naughty naughty). We see a pretty young woman climb up a set of diving board ladders, diving into what we think is a pool full of water multiple times. This happens as a country-sounding narrator patronises us about the use of drugs: “Doing drugs is like being on top of the world. Eeeeeeeveryone says so. Eeeeeeeveryone seems to be having one dandy ol’ time.” Am I the only one that gets annoyed by his prolonged pronunciation of “Eeeeeeeveryone” and his use of the word “dandy” – who the hell says “dandy” anymore? Was that one of the ‘hip’ words back in the late 80s? Now for the game changer“Before you go and do something you’ve never done before, you just better know… what you’re jumping into.” and… OH MY GOD THERE’S NO WATER IN THE POOL! How this ad should have finished, was a final shot of her lifeless body lying there with her neck snapped or something… you know? That diving board looks a bit dirty, though – just look at the state of it. It’s looks filthy. Imagine if this happened for real, though… imagine finding her body in the pool. How awkward would that be? Calling the emergency services like: “Erm… yeah. I have a dumb bitch who’s dived head-first into an empty pool here. Please bring an ambulance and any spare brain cells you may have, this bitch needs some.” Don’t do drugs, kids… dive into empty pools instead. It’s much more fun!

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39: “Junkie Den” – The Montana Meth Project, 2006 (USA)

Ahhhh. Now we have finally reached the first of many PSAs courtesy of the lovely folk at The Montana Meth Project. Although this first one may be the most ‘tame’ out of them, it is still pretty grim… I can assure you. Moving on swiftly, this commercial is a part of the ‘second wave’ of ads from their 2006 campaign which depict how teens promise themselves that they’re “only going to try meth once” – and how wrong they are. And to make times happier these ones are all directed by Tony Kaye, who’s a bit like the Tim Burton of PSAs. We see two young teenagers sat in a very dark basement, when one eggs the other one on to smoke some meth. Bad move. When he blows it out, a bunch if creepy-looking, dirty meth heads emerge from the shadows, congratulating him: “You did it kid. You’re in. You’re one of us now.” They begin pestering him saying they’ll be “shooting up together”“stealing together” and “sleeping together” until he stops them as he adamantly rejects, “NO! I’m trying it just this once!” Upon hearing this, the meth heads burst out laughing at his hilarious and ridiculous statement. You can’t just do meth once as indicated by the slogan, METH. NOT EVEN ONCE. Apparently meth takes away your ability to practise oral hygiene too – just look at their teeth! I think the woman from the ‘Cleaning Girl’ commercial needs to go over there and work wonders with her magic toothbrush.

38: “Love Lost” –, 2008 (USA)

He said he’d love me forever if I smoked crack with him. He lied.” Of course he did, you silly buffoon! Seriously, what is wrong with these people? If ‘he’ said “go and jump in front of that bus and I’ll love you forever” would you do that, too? No. Once again, we see a situation where a young girl is unfortunately caught in the trap which is peer-pressure by her boyfriend who is a crackhead. She ends up being arrested by police who storm her boyfriend’s place with guns looking for him, but somehow escapes by climbing out the bedroom window. He gets chased by one cop, but we never get to find out if the long-haired crackhead manages to escape! How annoying. He probably didn’t though. The cop probably ‘popped a cap’ right in his ass. You know what those American cops are like, eh? Take it from me, kids: love and crack do not mix. Just like that Whitney Houston used to say… “crack is whack!” – but now she can’t always love you, because she’s dead.

37: “Parents” – The Montana Meth Project, 2007 (USA)

Here is one of the ads from the ‘third wave’ of Montana Meth Project commercials which were aired in 2007, directed by Darren Aronofsky. In this wave of ads, each teen talks about how strong their relationships are with their friends and family, while they’re chillingly juxtaposed with an alternative ‘meth version’ of their future selves destroying these strong relationships as a result of their meth use. In this one, we see a teenage boy talk about how he “get(s) along with (his) parents” – while we see him psychotically storm through the front gate of his house, screaming manically at his parents who have locked themselves inside the house out of fear, leaving him locked outside. He angrily and aggressively pummels the front door while insanely screaming, “Let me in! I’m gonna kill you!” which is absolutely terrifying. Very effective and very unsettling…. and this one is only the tip of the iceberg.

36: “Lab Rat” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1988 (USA)

It’s back to the eighties once again with this one courtesy of them at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. I find this one quite sinister, though. We see a block of ‘cocaine’ being dispensed into a lab rat’s cage. Of which the rat ultimately eats out of curiosity I presume: I’m pretty sure rats aren’t naturalistically addicted to crack. Once the first block of crack is consumed, another one is dropped in there… and another… and another, of which the rat goes back and forth to consume the copious amounts of crack supplied to it. Congrats: you’ve created a crack addict! We then get lovely shots of the rat convulsing within its cage, scurrying around and twitching in a corner. And then it’s dead. Just like your dreams – if you do crack, of course. Or any other drug for that matter. I wonder if PETA had anything to say about this commercial back then. They probably turned their noses up at it in disgust. I don’t really like rats much myself, though. They’re just really evil-looking. I always get slightly angst that if I see one, it’s going to jump straight up to my face and gnaw my eyes out.

35: “ER” – The Meth Project, 2011 (USA)

Here is another ad courtesy of those at The Meth Project. Not sure why they took the ‘Montana’ bit out their name. I think the project officially spread across all of America… maybe? Anyway, we see a young woman with an angst-looking expression on her face (who we presume is the narrator at first) staring straight at the camera, while she ponders: “If I’d asked… ‘If I do meth, will I become an addict?’”. The woman’s face then changes quickly into that of a psychopathic madwoman, revealing that she’s actually being trolleyed off to the Emergency Room by doctors, probably to sedate her… crazy bitch.  We then realise that the crazy bitch isn’t actually the narrator, as we see the narrator is in fact her ‘friend’ looking through the ER doors… and I put ‘friend’ in italics because we’re shown she is pretty much a crappy friend. She walks straight out of the hospital after witnessing her ‘friend’ mentally collapse, to shoot up some more meth! What a brilliant friend she is! There we have it folks, meth will make you a crappy friend. You heard it here first.

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34: “Crack” – Concerned Children’s Advertisers, 1998 (Canada)

“Ever wondered what a bag of crack looks like?” According to this ad by the folks at Concerned Children’s Advertisers, it pretty much looks like a big black bodybag… I’m kidding, of course it’s metaphorical! All jokes aside, when I first watched this ad I was pretty creeped out by it. I mean the shot of the bodybag on the trolley just sliding in out of nowhere gave me a bit of a jump scare. And there’s just something about bodybags and morgues and whatnot that just gives me goosebumps… don’t you agree? It’s a very simple ad, but I think it’s effective. I think this is the only one from Concerned Children’s Advertisers that has significant weight and worthy of any sort of Scare Factor rating. And that’s pretty much it. Moving swiftly on…

33: “Linda” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1988 (USA)

Now this one is probably one of my all-time favourite commercials ever produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Whether it is real or not (mind you, it is probably fake… judging by the clichés, but if that’s the case, this girl is one brilliant actress), this commercial doesn’t fail to emotionally involve you in the overall plot. This version is actually a shortened version of the original 3-and-a-half minute version, which also gives the ‘backstory’ to this one, as well as additional interview footage. We are shown an interview with a young and innocent-looking teenager, but with a very unkempt look, looking very physically and emotionally fatigued – her hair is scruffy and dirty looking, and she has visible bags under her eyes. She talks about how she “started on pot about a year ago” but it was in fact “crack (that) really messed (her) up bad”. Now, it is still debatable whether or not ‘softer’ drugs like marijuana can lead on to more hardcore drugs, like cocaine or heroin… some agree, others disagree. But with Linda, this certainly was the case. She talks about how she started on crack just out of naivety, and just one month later she became completely dependent on it. It ends with a heart-wrenching apology, “I’m sorry what I put my family through… I never thought this could happen.” Which leaves you feeling slightly distraught for Linda… it’s a sad story where an ordinary teenager falls very artlessly into the crippling world of drugs. And it’s sad. Whether or not this commercial is real, you know that somewhere out in the world there are plenty of real people… plenty of people exactly like ‘Linda’… who have fallen into this fate. And that’s something you can’t deny. 

32: “Grow Up” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1989 (USA)

This commercial is another simple one that is effective in its approach. We hear the narrations of different children explaining what they want to be when they grow up, but is actually juxtaposed with the grown-up junkie versions of themselves with a sort of messed up, drugged up alternative reality of their dreams. For example: we first see a man presumably athletically sprinting whilst his former child self explains, “when I grow up, I want to be a track star” – however this is contradicted when we see the man is actually sprinting away from the cops. We then see the childish dreams clashing with their future junkie realities for a girl who wants to be a ballerina and then a nurse, accompanied by very disturbing screeching noises and then some breathy-sounding voice at the end, saying something that sounds like “SATAN, SATAN, SATAN, SATAN… HA HA HA HA”. Yeah… of course it doesn’t really say that, but all-in-all it is pretty darn chilling.

31: “Orphanage” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2006 (USA)

Here’s another one that’s bloody sad. Well not sad-sad, but sad enough to still make you open your eyes about the devastating effects of meth, if they aren’t opened enough already. [CHALLENGE: try to read this next whole sentence without taking a pause for breath… ready… GO!] A narrator quickly explains a story with a sort of domino effect about a woman’s meth lab that exploded causing the man who lived just above the explosion to be “ripped apart” but how the woman managed to escape the explosion only to be arrested outside her home of which her son gets a glimpse of her “bloodied but alive” before the boy gets taken off to the orphanage funded by the state who asks you to play a part in the role of parent until the cost of his education goes off the books and makes you – whether you know him or not – infected by meth. (AND BREATHE) Bloody hell, that was a mouthful wasn’t it? I deliberately didn’t put any punctuation in that sentence to make things a lot harder. Admittedly, I just tried it and could only get to the final few words, without passing out due to asphyxiation. That was fun. Let’s get our breath back by moving on to the next one, which also involves a meth lab ran by a woman who looks strikingly similar… COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT!

30: “Jamie” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2006 (USA)

Seriously, the woman in this commercial looks almost identical to the woman in the previous one. Was this deliberate? Or is it actually the same actress? I would love to know. Anyways, same sort of principle like the last one. We see a woman cooking some delicious meth in what looks like her basement, as I couldn’t imagine anybody setting up a meth lab in their living room, or something. We see a concoction of ingredients that are bubbling away while the woman cooks meth. A voiceover then explains, ” the toxic fumes from this meth lab, are seeping into Jamie’s sinus cavity… ammonia vapours invade her throat”, but then PLOT TWIST – while we think ‘Jamie‘ is the scruffy woman cooking meth, it actually turns out to be a young girl living just above, playing with her toys, blissfully unaware that the meth lab fumes coming from the floor below are killing her softly: “I heard she ran a meth lab, I heard she had a style. / And so I came to see it, and smoke some for a while.” 

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29: “Brain Warehouse” – FRANK, 2006 (UK)

FRANK‘ are known for their bizarre commercials as you may all know already. So bizarre in fact, they can be quite creepy. I mean seriously, who thought of the concept for this ad? The sight of brains just makes me feel uneasy as it is, let alone a whole commercial bloody full of them. We even get a lovely shot of a customer poking one, of which causes his finger to become all slimy. Yuck! If none of this makes you feel slightly unnerved, maybe the creepy smile of the brain salesman at the end will. Let’s move on before I throw up.

28: “Coroner” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1988 (USA)

Isn’t it ironic that, once upon a time, I actually wanted to become a coroner? Seriously… I must have been about 6 years old. Imagine a cute, innocent child turning round to you and saying, “when I grow up, I want to cut open dead bodies!” – well that was me. Until this one time in Biology back in like 2011 where I fainted and broke my nose during lesson, because we were cutting open sheep hearts… there was blood everywhere, and I had to go to hospital for a CT scan. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Let’s just say the “dream” of cutting open dead bodies ended there… and now I have no idea what I want to be. Anyway, life story over Piers Morgan… let’s talk about this commercial, because that’s what you’re here for. Unfortunately for you (but fortunate for me), we do not get to see the actual body this coroner is autopsying. But he does narrate his procedure, which is still really grim. I’m pretty sure this is staged though… as I heard it is pretty unprofessional for coroners just to become so piteous of the subject that they just completely stop what they’re supposed to be doing. Amateur! I could do a better job than him. Mind you, I probably couldn’t – someone would be autopsying me because I would probably collapse and break my neck, concuss my head, or something.

27: “Jessica” – The Montana Meth Project, *2010* (USA) ~ Correction

This commercial, along with the “Kevin” and “Ben” ones (in addition to a “Tracy” one that’s not in this countdown), is part of the “Wave 5” set of ads produced by The Montana Meth Project, directed by Wally Pfister. The overall concept of these commercials is that we hear friends of meth addicts talk about how they watched their friends commit and do awful things due to their meth use. They are accompanied by haunting shots of where these events took place, and all conclude with, “And this is what I said, when (they) told me (they) was going to try meth…” ending with complete silence, indicating that they had said nothing to stop their friends doing meth. In this one, we hear the voice of a former friend of a girl named ‘Jessica’, and how she used to be a cheerleader. We then cut to shots of a dirty bathroom where she would “pull out her eyebrows” a darkened empty hallway where “her dealer raped her” and then a backyard with a children’s play-set, where she “forced her little brother to smoke it with her.” I think these adverts are pretty damn effective. They really are grim and quite haunting in their approach, and it highlights the importance of not just speaking out about your or your friend’s drug problems, but to prevent them from ever happening by preventing the wrong decisions.

26: “Mike” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2007 (USA)

This one is another weird one. This commercial is shot on what appears to be a cameraphone, as the footage is really grainy… that’s not a bad thing though of course, as it adds to the authenticity. It’s nighttime, and we see three teenagers laughing and staggering around in a park after inhaling some solvents. “Your kids know a lot about sniffing everyday products to get high” a text reads, as we are still shown the teenage boys laughing around… but one of them missing. “Here’s what they need to know” another text appears, as the cameraperson advances towards the third boy lying still on the ground… “they can die from it” it continues, as we are shown a close up of the boy’s lifeless face, while his friend behind the camera calls for him. The friend’s first jokey call of “Mike….” quickly changes into a concerned tone as the text concludes, “Talk to your kids about inhalant abuse.” I actually really like this one. It may be staged, but it still feels really authentic. The fact the commercial is aimed at teenagers, it was a good idea shooting the commercial with something that would actually be familiar to most teens – a cameraphone. It reminds me of the ‘Think!’ UK commercial where a teenage boy is ran over, which was also cleverly shot on a cameraphone to further hit home to teenagers.

25: “Kevin” – The Montana Meth Project, *2010* (USA) ~ Correction

Again, this ad follows the same concept as the “Jessica” one above-mentioned. There isn’t much to say about this ad without repeating myself. A boy drops out of school, beats up his best friend, uses a sharp implement to dig imaginary bugs out of his skin, and we are finally shown the mental institution where he spends 23 hours-a-day… you know, the usual. Welcome to the wonderful world of meth! That bed looks like something out of a BDSM flick though to be honest. Kinky! – I’ve probably just ruined the whole commercial haven’t I? Sorry…

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24: “Puppet Boy” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1991 (USA)

Now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the music in this one. It’s a sort of creepy carnivalesque-sounding piece, and it’s quite amazing. And I think it really suits this commercial to be honest, you know… carnivals and puppets and all that other creepy stuff? This one is about weed though, so all of you weed smokers reading might want to look away… because anything that remotely discourages cannabis use is scare-mongering and just a load of bull really, isn’t it?

23: “Everything Else” – The Montana Meth Project, 2006 (USA)

Here’s a meth PSA. And here’s my meth blog post about it. And you’re my meth audience… and don’t forget my METH FACE! As you can probably tell, they’re over-obsessed with emphasising the word “meth” in this one. A white middle-classed and healthy-looking party girl who thinks she’s tougher than she is walks outside from the party to a bunch of scruffy-looking partygoers about to hit up with a bit of meth, and casually asks for some. After a bit of reluctance, they hand over her meth… and her meth dealer… and her meth boyfriends… and her meth baby… and not to forget… HER METH FACE. I’m not too sure what a meth face is meant to look like, but apparently it won’t get you into an Angelina Jolie lookalike contest anytime soon. Seriously, though, is this what they think teenagers are like? Do they think they’re mindless idiots who just casually walk outside and score up some drugs with a bunch of strangers they don’t even know? And funnily enough, they make out that it’s actually one of the DRUGGIES that is the smart one in this entire commercial… he seems pretty clued up and smart to me! And where the hell does the baby come from?! They just whip that baby out from nowhere, “oh and here’s your meth baby by the way, don’t worry I’ve got plenty of spare babies lying around!” And who carries a mirror that size around with them?! Surely they could have used one of those compact mirrors a lot of girls carry around in their makeup bag, to at least make it more realistic. And it’s not even remotely cracked… considering it’s come from a bunch of grungy meth addicts. There are too many questions that leave me wondering what on Earth is going on in this ad. It really baffles me to be honest… I mean, that mirror is HUGE, isn’t it?

22: “Needle” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

Now this ad is a bit of a creepy one. It’s starts off a bit mundane where a guy is in a bathroom solemnly looking at himself in the mirror while he snorts up heroin. I didn’t even know you could snort heroin, funny that. Once it goes up his nose he falls back and falls to the bathroom floor which breaks on his impact, causing him to fall in a void of blackness. We then get a lovely shot of him being impaled right through his chest by a gigantic needle, illustrating that most people who start by snorting heroin, end up using the needle. So the moral of the story is: if you’re going to do heroin, don’t be a pussy and snort it – inject that sh*t straight into you with a needle instead! Heroin is heroin at the end of the day, no matter how you take it. Whether it is heroin bath bombs, heroin cereal, heroin shampoo, heroin bubble bath… heck, you may as well let your imagination run wild! I know I would!

21: “Coroner” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2002 (USA)

This advert reminds me of all those creepy American murder investigation documentaries my mum used to watch when I was little in the early 2000s. Something about this advert is so creepy, and I can’t put my finger on it. It might be the fact that it’s in the style of those documentaries, with the eerie music and the visuals of the autopsy report snippets flashing on the screen… it just gives me the chills. Maybe it is the fact that nothing we are watching in this commercial is fictional… it is all real life, and that girl really died of an MDNA overdose, and we are reading her actual autopsy report. Or maybe it is the way his voice echoes at the end, “the only drug present in her system… was ECSTASY” – whatever it is, take your pick. They’re all equally bone-chilling.

20: “Deep End” – The Meth Project, 2011 (USA)

If you are going by the title, no… this is not a commercial about the dangers of swimming. Although I don’t necessarily know why this commercial is entitled “Deep End” to be honest. Maybe instead of the girl slitting her wrists in her bathroom and the mother walking in on her, she could have been enjoying a nice family day out at the swimming baths when she goes and hits up a bit of meth in the changing rooms. Of which, her disorientation causes her to slip on the slippery surface of the poolside, hit her head on the concrete flooring, fall into the pool with the blood seeping out of her head to contrast the crystals of the crisp waters, and drown at the end. But instead, it’s another one of the ads from the same series as the “ER” one aforementioned. Girl stares expressionless to the camera. Her face turns into that of someone channeling the devil. You know the rest…

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19: “Nebraska Couple” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2006 (USA)

Take everything you know about creepy anti-drugs PSAs and eat it, because this one really takes the cake. Based on a true case where a Nebraska couple froze to death in a blizzard whilst high on methamphetamine, the 911-calls that are featured are absolutely bone-chilling (no pun intended). There really isn’t much I can say about this commercial, as it speaks for itself. Watch it, get goosebumps, feel scarred for life, and move on to the next commercial…

18: “Drowning” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1995 (USA)

After enjoying that lovely little commercial we move onto other. I hope the horror hasn’t fully corrupted your mind yet, as we still have quite a bit to go. As we begin this next commercial, you’re probably immune to any sort of blissful music playing at the start. You should know by now that creepy PSAs and cheerful music do not mix – it serves as a mere appetiser for the f*ckery you are about to swallow, so you better clean your palate. But try not to reach for that lovely glass of water just yet. We see a young innocent girl playing with her bunny in her seemingly ordinary bedroom whilst a monotonic narrator advises us about how there is this, “new thing going around called sniffing” – sounds rather delightful so far, don’t you think? He then goes on to explain how the euphoria you feel when you sniff aerosols is basically your brain starving of oxygen, which is a bit weird when you think of it. Basically, this is your brains final ‘attempt’ to feel one last sense of euphoria before it completely shuts itself down. Although that might sound pleasing, do not be fooled. No high is worth the die. We begin to see this morbid depiction come to life when the girl’s bedroom suddenly becomes an aquarium as her room is completely flooded by water, whilst the girl helplessly tries to find air. Her efforts to find avail become as useful as a fart in a spacesuit, as we see one last creepy shot of the girl’s lifeless corpse floating past the screen for a final long-lasting effect. In a nutshell, if you sniff aerosols, you’re basically drowning your brain. Good stuff.

17: “Thin Ice” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

We’ve moved from a blizzard horror to an aquatic horror, so let’s combine them both together in this next ad. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the cold. I would pick a cold winters day all cosy and snug under thick duvets and drinking warm drinks, than a hot dreary summers day where you’re outside sunbathing as it’s too meltingly hot to stay indoors where not even fans and countless amounts of cold drinks and ice-lollies can cool you down remotely, not to mention the annoying wasps, flies and mosquitos buzzing around you all up in your vicinity. Yeah, you can tell I’m not a summer person, but for good reasons. But let’s say I don’t enjoy winter that much to walk along a frozen pond with thin ice for it to break and submerge me in sub-zero waters trapping me beneath the icy surface with no way of escape… well at least that’s what happens to this poor guy, as they compare heroin use to just that. Bloody hell, it’s enough to give you the chills. Haha. See what I did there?

16: “Ben” – The Montana Meth Project, *2010* (USA) ~ Correction

Much like the “Jessica” and “Kevin” ones we have previously discussed, this final commercial from the folks at The Montana Meth Project looks at how one teenager’s life spirals into the abyss due to their friends ignorance towards their meth use. Stupid friends, who needs them anyway? In all seriousness, I find this one the creepiest of the three due to the most gobsmacking ending in all of PSA history [Spoiler Alert]: we get one final chilling shot of the noose Ben had used to kill himself still hanging from the ceiling inside a janitor’s closet. Brrr. I’m off to go and watch some videos of cats doing the funniest things on YouTube to cheer myself up. Be right back, feel free to move on without me. I’ll catch up with you in a bit.

15: “Dummy” – Central Office of Information, 1985 (UK)

“When friends told Kate smoking heroin would make her feel good, they forgot to tell her something else…” – how bad they are at being friends? As much as I would have liked that to be the next line, sadly it isn’t. We get to see what the effects of heroin do to a pretty-realistic-looking dummy in what appears to be some creepy, badly-lit warehouse environment. The dummy keeps falling to the floor with an echoing slam for every dreadful effect that heroin does to Kate… like giving her spots! Oh my, how dreadful! Risking blood disease, liver damage and heart failure… nah. But the spots! Anything but the spots! That dummy is a bit creepy though. Almost gives you that uncanny valley feeling. And the weird background noise is a bit unsettling too. But as creepy as the ad is, you can’t help but slightly cringe at Kate’s god-awful acting at the end and what’s probably the most awkward 5-second silence in history. It could give the awkward silence at the end of this PIF for a burst pipe a run for its money!

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14: “Rodney On Heroin” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

Here’s another ad that features a real story. Rodney Harvey was an American actor that died of a heroin and cocaine overdose in April 1998. We begin a photo slideshow with a black and white acting headshot of the handsome-looking Rodney Harvey as a VO accompanies, “This is my friend Rodney.” The headshot then clicks onto the next picture, but with Rodney in a police department mugshot of his face and body badly scratched, this time with the voiceover saying, “This is my friend Rodney on heroin.” It then clicks back to Rodney’s headshot (“This is Rodney…”), and then onto another mugshot of Rodney looking severely unhealthy (“…on heroin.”) The slideshow proceeds to click back and forth between the elegant headshot to the contradicting pictures of Rodney on heroin, with his appearance progressively getting worse and worse with each picture until we end with one final photograph of Rodney presumably dead, with the voiceover concluding, “That… was my friend… Rodney.” A simple yet powerful commercial, highlighting the devastating effects drugs like heroin can have on even the most aspiring stars.

13: “Who’s More Dead?” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2007 (USA)

If you’re easily creeped out by morgues and dead, lifeless corpses like me, than this commercial is certainly going to give you the heebie-jeebies. We see a dark and empty hospital morgue upon the light flickering on when a well-dressed man enters. He walks over to the mortuary fridges and pulls out two bodies either side of him that are covered over with white cloths. He pulls the cloth off the body on the left, revealing the face of a paled young man (presumably a teenager) and says, “This kid died from using illegal drugs…” – he then reveals the face of a second young man on the right, “…and this kid died from using prescription drugs.” He then glances at both bodies then looks towards the camera, to ask us the most sarcastic question ever: “Now you tell me… which ones more dead?” If you haven’t guessed already, this ad is directed to parents about warning their children of prescription drug abuse, but I get more angry at this guy. It only makes me want to jump through my screen and give him a taste of his own sassy medicine – “Actually you pedantic b*****d, it would depend on the time of death of the two individuals and the core temperature of both bodies at the time of death: whoever had the lowest internal temperature is physiologically ‘more dead’ than the other. Score one to me, bitch.”

12: “Jumped” – The Montana Meth Project, 2006 (USA)

Known to most fangirls as the “OMG IT’S ANDY BIERSACK!” /slash/ “OMG IS THAT ANDY BIERSACK?!” /slash/ “OMG I’VE FOUND ANDY BIERSACK!” commercial (of whom I had no idea who he was until the comments section got flooded with the usual hormonal and adolescent attire), this commercial along with the “Junkie Den”“Everything Else” and the “Crash” commercial featured in my other countdown, were apart of the Wave 2 set of ads – all of which were directed by Tony Kaye, as you could probably tell by the sheer morbidity in all four of them. However the “Jumped” and “Crash” ads both take a different approach to the remaining counterparts, as they feature two teenage protagonists who imply that a terrible event (such as becoming paralysed due to a car crash or being jumped and beaten up only to be hospitalised by blunt trauma with a cinderblock) would have been a far better fate than becoming a meth addict and never being able to quit. Kaye pulls no punches particularly with this one, as we get lovely shots of the boy in his drug den convulsing and throwing up everywhere due to his meth use. Lovely.

11: “Ghoul” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1989 (USA)

This one is just freaky, and is enough to send chills up your spine. With the whole commercial making us feel an overwhelming sense of vertigo, we see a weird-looking bald-headed guy with clearly visible crooked teeth and a tremendous overbite (of which causes him to talk with a lisp), in a brilliant white coloured mortuary complete with thick fog. Apparently this is where all the cool and hip teens who do crack cocaine end up when they fatally overdose, of what the ghoul describes as a “party.” Yeah I think I’m just going to stay at home and have a quiet night in thanks, mate. Before he vanishes into the white abyss, he sadistically says he wants you to “try crack” as he could “use the company”, before manically laughing his way into the thick mist. Now, am I the only one who thinks he looks an awful lot like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons? – he’s the splitting image of him! (without the jaundice complexion, of course).

10: “Laundromat” – The Montana Meth Project, 2005 (USA)

If you haven’t watch this one already, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise plot twist at the end. This, along with the “Bathtub” one we will get to in a short while, are probably the two most notorious commercials to have ever been created for The Montana Meth Project. Actually, you immediately think of one or both of these two commercials whenever the phrase “Montana Meth Project” comes to mind, of which were the first two commercials that introduced both me and the world to their very macabre PSA collection. Including the “Just Once” and “That Guy” commercials, these were the First Wave of ads also directed by Tony Kaye (unsurprisingly), which introduced The Montana Meth Project and shocked nearly the entire world by doing so. We first see a psychopathic and deranged young meth addict run into a laundromat and demands the money from everyone he encounters inside, beating a man to the floor and screaming in the faces of a woman and her young children. He then spots a young man in the far corner of the building and ultimately runs up to him, but it is revealed [Spoiler Alert] that the assailant is his last victim’s future self, post-addicted with his face dirty and severely lacerated – “this wasn’t supposed to be your life!” he angrily shouts to himself. If this commercial wasn’t enough to give you goosebumps and send shivers down your spine, perhaps the final commercial of the series will…

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9: “Lenny” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1996 (USA)

[This commercial contains scenes of graphic drug use, so people who are anxious about needles should skip this commercial… to 32:15I don’t think I’ve ever put a disclaimer in a PSA countdown before, but there’s a first time for everything. This ad is just too gruesome to even begin to describe, and guess who it’s directed by? Yup… Tony Kaye. In a two-and-a-half-minute documentary-styled short, we see a real chronic heroin user by the name of ‘Lenny’ (although there isn’t any significant proof that is his real name or whether he is still even alive to this day), talking about his first euphoric experience of using heroin despite the fact it made him throw up. We then get shots of him describing his many lesions, scars and puss-filled abscess caused by heroin injection. We see him cutting up the powdered heroin whilst talking about an incident where he was close to having a foot amputation caused by gangrene, as he routinely prepares his next fix. But what’s most upsetting about this commercial is where he talks about his ambitions for the future through a heartfelt promise he makes to the camera: “By the time ’97 rolls around, ’96 at this time… August 17th… you come here with your cameras, and I’ll be a totally different person. I’ll be successful… and I bet my life on it.” What follows is a close-up shot of him injecting the heroin into a vein in his bloodied hand (with the needle actually puncturing his skin), as the juxtaposing “Over the Rainbow” creepily plays in the background as we fade to black. A caption concludes by sarcastically teasing us with, “Heroin. Want some?” – and boy, do we not…

8: “Blender” – Partnership for a Drug-Free Singapore, 2000 (Singapore)

Here’s another short but straight-to-the-point commercial. The commercials I have seen thus far from Partnership for a Drug-Free Singapore have been horrifying to say the least. This one along with the truly terrifying “Guinea Pig” ad we shall see later, and not to mention the “Rats” one from my more recent TOP 40: SCARIEST INTERNATIONAL PSAs countdown, are enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life. We briefly see what appears to be a brain inside a blender (whether it is a human one, I don’t know… but it is still very morbid) when a hand places an ecstasy tablet on top of it and encloses the lid. A ghoulish narrator voiceovers, “Ecstasy. Ever wondered what it does to your brain?” – then we see a hand go to turn on the… oh no, don’t you dare! NOOOOO!!! We then get to see the contents of the blender quickly become liquified pinkish gloop accompanied by the haunting sound of a blender slicing it all up. There you have it folks: ecstasy will turn your brain into a delicious, nutritious smoothie! Yummy.

7: “Bathtub” – The Montana Meth Project, 2005 (USA)

As we have already seen in its sister commercial “Laundromat”, we follow yet another teen pre-meth addiction meeting their post-addiction selves. I believe this commercial is the most notorious out of all the meth ones, as it is certainly the most memorable. A teenage girl in just her bathrobe talks to her friend on the phone whilst looking in the mirror, “Yeah. My parents think I’m sleeping at your house. Yeah, I’m just jumping in the shower. Okay, bye.” Cut to the girl showering, running her fingers through her soft, wet locks. She looks down to see that there is dirtied blood running amongst her feet in the water, causing her to mumble anxiously. She turns round to see [Spoiler Alert] a post-meth version of herself bloodied and covered with cuts, cowered on the floor and shivering in the corner. She screams manically upon seeing her future self of who pleads, “Don’t do it… don’t do it.” It’s enough to make anyone vomit out of terror.

6: “Everybody’s Doing It” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1998 (USA)

I’ve kept on saying about the use of happy jingles in creepy PSAs, and here’s another one. We hear a cheery upbeat song lauding heroin as, “the freshest new feeling, the coolest high” whilst being juxtaposed with images of a dirty and needle-scarred young man convulsing on a bathroom floor… “Everybody’s doing it, doing it!” the song cheerily continues. Majestical sparkling text saying “Heroin” makes it seem very appealing with an oxymoron of the man who’s now slumped against the toilet bowl and is throwing up… “Heroin, for the rest of your life!” it concludes. Well wasn’t that a pretty sight? It sure makes you uncomfortably quiver with unease. It’s probably the most morbid anti-heroin ad I’ve ever seen.

5: “Snake” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1986 (USA)

Here’s an ad that scared the living bejeebers out of American children back in the mid-eighties, and is probably the most memorable anti-drug PSA out there… and rightfully so. I mean, could you imagine being a child watching your favourite Saturday-morning cartoons, and then during the ad break this comes on? It would have been enough to make me scarred for life! A drug dealer conclusively turns into a serpent at the end looking like it’s channeling an inner demon or even Satan himself… those piercing black eyes… those fangs… and that hiss! Do. Not. Want.

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4: “Guinea Pig” – Partnership for a Drug-Free Singapore, 2000 (Singapore)

Sigh. We have arrived at what’s probably the most horrific anti-ecstasy commercial to have ever been created. As I have already said, Partnership for a Drug-Free Singapore have created some of the most disturbing and grotesque anti-drugs ads ever… and they certainly pull no punches. Everything about this ad sends shivers down my spine: the ‘scratchy’ music, the ghoulish narrator, and the whole creepy laboratory atmosphere in general. And I still cannot bring myself to watch the ending: the creepy face of the man convulsing in a chair as his eyes roll back into his head whilst his mouth is pried wide open, has well and truly horrified me beyond compare. “Take Ecstasy, and you’re the guinea pig.” No thank you. I’m going to curl up in a ball and hide in the corner now… bye.

3: “Monkey On Their Back” – National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, 1970s (USA)

This commercial literally lasts for like 5 seconds. “So why has it been placed #3 on the countdown if it’s so short?” I hear you ask… well you can find out for yourself. A cute mechanical monkey with cymbals turns into something not so… cute… let’s just say, I almost had a heart attack when I watched this the first time. So just prepare yourself, especially those faint of heart. You can tell this commercial is pretty ancient by the quality, but still… that scare tho. I’ll see you on the other side… good luck.

2: “Faces” – Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1987 (USA)

Out of all the anti-drugs PSAs we have covered thus far, this one has got to be the most memorable and absolutely bone chilling. It scarred children all over America for the rest of their lives back in 1987, and you can understand why. We see just a close up of a very young-looking woman’s face staring straight into the camera, smiling upon a blissful sounding piano playing “Happy Birthday To You” faintly in the background. The woman’s face quickly disintegrates as a very spooky voice starts singing, “How old are you now? Laa dee daa dee dee…” – until the very end where the woman morphs into a lifeless corpse with empty blue eyes. It ends with a haunting shot of a white sheet being thrown over, indicating she is dead. If this version wasn’t creepy enough for you, here is also an alternative version without the white sheet being thrown over her, meaning we get to see her achromatic complexion of her corpse just those few seconds longer. The joys!

1: “No Brainer” – Care New Zealand, 2003 (New Zealand) 

And here we are: Number 1. Nearly 38 minutes later, and just over 10,000 words later if you’ve been reading from the very beginning! Phew. Don’t wipe the sweat from your forehead just yet… we still have this final commercial to plough through – without emptying the contents of your stomach, that is. New Zealanders, as you can probably tell if you’ve watched my TOP 50: SCARIEST PSAs – AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND countdown, don’t mess around when it comes to their PSAs: and this final commercial is a perfect exemplification of that. Try not to vomit all your internal organs out when you watch a man pull back a skin flap on the back of his head and then dig out a part of his brain, cut it into a line and snort it up his nose. He also licks the remaining blood-covered brain matter off his fingers just for good measure to… you know… make you vomit even more. How the hell did they get anyway with this? We may never know. But it’s bloody brilliant isn’t it? – pardon the pun. And there we have it! What a delightful little gem to end with! Try to not have too many nightmares… I know I will. Damn New Zealand… you scary!

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Final thought: After spending nearly 38 minutes enduring just some of the scariest anti-drugs commercials out there, you can’t help but take away a very stark message from all of this. Some people still think that anti-drugs commercials is ‘propaganda’ (and believe me, I have argued with so many numbskulls that still think this). Some may think that it’s the government ‘brainwashing’ people into not exercising their rights of freewill by doing drugs and thus living like robots under control. Some may also think that these commercials are too over-exaggerated and always display the worst-case scenarios deemed to unrealistic to be taken seriously by their critiques… I kindly say: what a load of bull. Anti-drugs commercials (and PSAs in general for that matter) are meant to over-exaggerate. They’re meant to warn us about the possible dangers of using drugs. If you was in charge of making an anti-drugs PSA, you’d want it to be as scary as possible. You’d want it to be so damn effective that people are going to remember your commercial for years to come… isn’t that the point? What’s the use of making commercials without scare-tactics? Who’s going to remember commercials which don’t use horror, gore or shock factors? It baffles me that people are still so oblivious to the dangers of drugs and so stubborn about their drug use that anybody who remotely thinks otherwise is a ‘sheep‘ who don’t know their own minds due to the government ‘somehow corrupting them and brainwashing them.’ But the reality is: drugs ARE bad. They DO kill. No matter who you are, there is no correct way of doing drugs to ensure you cheat death and survive your ill addictions. Doing drugs is not a skill, and it certainly cannot be mastered. Doing drugs is like playing Russian Roulette: the lucky few survive even the most chronic uses… while others simply perish. That’s something nobody can deny.

That is all for now. I wish you a joyful and safe week. Stay tuned for more… don’t forget to rate this post, and leave a comment if you want. Cheers!

22 responses to “TOP 50: SCARIEST ANTI-DRUGS PSAs”

  1. Yo, Pizza! Glad to know you’re doing swell. Been a while since your last update, also I commented on your recent (re) upload this month.

    There’s not really a favorite one I can pick, because I enjoyed all of your countdown videos. But if it’s one I had to choose, Drug PSAs is the one I went for. Those are 1 of the many reasons I stay away (or punch them in the face if I get the chance) from drugs. I did try one, and… it tasted like shit. I was mind-boggled on what the hell people see in these “adult pacifiers”, that slowly kill you yet people won’t stop using them. You know how much those things go for these days? It’s costing them even more!!!

    Montana Meth really knows how to give out the extreme results of these drugs. Partnership for a Drug-Free America is now called Drug-Free World, right? Similar to Concern Children’s Advertisers became Companies Commited to Kids in Canada. Anyway, they released some pretty bone-chilling ads back in the day. This year, they’re rather tame, though they do spread the message around. So far, the only chilling one I’ve seen is that Domestic Abuse one that uses Pizza Delivery to call for help.

    It’s good to see you again, and I await what countdowns you have in stores for us, Pizza.


  2. By the way, the “When X told me X was gonna try meth” ads were from 2010, not 2 years back.

    Good post, on the other hand. Really love watching your videos.


    1. Thanks for your feedback. Will correct it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Pizza. Stay awesome, man.


      2. Thanks now I can never sleep


  3. #33 is for 100% sure a FAKE. The Linda ad featured a young actress. How do I know? She was the star of an Eggo commercial about 2 years later. It was at this moment that I realized that Partnership for a Drug Free America had been lying to all of us. They justified their lies, believing that the ends justified the means.


    1. Hello there. Many thanks for your information. Would like to see a link to this commercial, if you have it? However I’m sure we shouldn’t judge PDFA too quickly just based on the one advert. I’m sure they were a pretty effective company for the greater good. Most ads are misinforming nearly all the time, so there’s no surprise it has also happened here. There’s the possibility that the story of ‘Linda’ was a real testimonial, but just used an actress either for personal reasons or the ethics of using a real drug addict in their commercials. But thank you for the information anyway!


  4. The PDFA ads, at least in my opinion, were always the most effective, mostly due to just how great they are at setting up an ominous and frightening tone. I also really love the music score in some of them, they give off that 80’s horror film vibe.
    I wish that these types of PSA’s were more frequent here in the States. Having to resort to scaring the living bejesus out of our kids might be debatable, but when it all boils down, it’s the only way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s this one particular PSA from the PFADFA (I *think* it was one of theirs, anyway) that I saw a time or two in the 1990s and thought peculiarly horrific — only now it seems that NOBODY BUT ME EVER SAW THE DAMNED THING! It was from the point of view of a young meth-smoker who’s freaking out because random strangers–like an elderly couple riding down the street in a convertible and a little African-American girl who’s just walking by — look at him with freaky whited-out eyes and say stuff like “they’re gonna KIIIILLLLL YOOOOUUUU” to him in these demonic 78-RPM-played-at-33 voices. The ending -surprise!- involves a handgun, a family sitting down to supper, and the melodramatic delivery of the melodramatic slogan “Where meth goes, death follows!”

    The thing is, nobody I’ve told about this PSA admits to ever having seen it. I’m talking about people who, like myself, just *love* a nice, morbid, melodramatic drug-scare commercial, and would relish the memory of a choice one like I’ve described — which I *think* I distinctly remember seeing. Nor is it on YouTube, or the Drugless Partners’ website. Somebody please, please, PLEASE confirm the existence of that damned spot for me before it drives me mad!



  6. These ads did anything to prevent people from smoking or doing drugs, it’s government propaganda, most of these are poorly researched and based on no facts. All they did was waste our tax dollars. I knew a lot of people in school who did, even after that whole D.A.R.E. bullshit. We only did that because we were forced to, not because we believed in it. My second oldest sister molded for a picture with her hands up, pretty much saying no to smoking… we guess what… she ended smoking anyway and still does to this day. The drugs are not going to just up and disappear… get your head out of your asses!

    5 Drug PSAs That Tried to Scare the Sh*t out of Us (But Didn’t)


    1. Something can only be classed as ‘propaganda’ if it’s proven to be based on false claims. Most anti-drugs and anti-smoking commercials are based on real life scenarios and statistics, usually published by the official World Health Organisation. Some may be far-fetched, I agree — but that doesn’t mean we can completely dispute the point of the commercial as being totally false. Besides, just because a certain campaign didn’t change your behaviour or the way you think about the world, doesn’t mean it was the same for everyone else. Although prohibition and America’s “War on Drugs” have been shown to have had very little effect on recreational drug behaviour, that still doesn’t mean doing drugs is the most logical way of dealing with certain issues. Nothing beats sobriety at the end of the day… which is pretty much the message of all these ads.

      Also, PDFA is actually a non-profit organisation that’s completely independent of the government or its associated agencies. Although they accept grants from governments, it also mainly runs on grants from foundations and donations from individuals, as shown here in their FAQ:

      Besides, it’s not like it’s a complete waste of money. They wouldn’t have to run campaigns if people didn’t smoke, do drugs and look after themselves more. People with smoking-related illnesses or end up in hospital due to alcohol or drug-related incidents consequently become a burden on the welfare state. People are quick to point the finger at campaigns with good intentions to promote healthier behaviour, yet they’re the ones that don’t look after themselves in the first place.


    2. [] TMister107 [] Avatar
      [] TMister107 []

      Number 2 Didn’t Scare me. Yet I didn’t see the Alternate version, so I don’t know if it is scary enough.
      Also why is this not on YouTube? I know it was but why not now? Also add Top 20 Scariest Fire Safety PSA’s to this website, it is the Best of the Bunch!


  7. Its a shame that your love for these ads is ruined by your smug asshole disrespect towards what the messages are trying to say. The whole poking fun because I’m so cool shtick is so played out and tired.

    Now you can go back to your mirror and pat yourself on the ass and coo on how clever you aren’t.

    10,000 words…..all of them shit.


    1. Please don’t take anything I write on this site or elsewhere on the internet too seriously. 99% of me ‘poking fun’ at something is just me trolling… so take a breather.


      1. Its just that you have a platform to help impact someone’s life. By tearing these PSAa down,you devalue the message behind them and that is much worse then “trolling”. Just something to ponder next time you write a review….


      2. I understand what you’re saying, however I think you’re missing the overall point of my blog. I’m sure my blog and videos have made a positive impact on quite a few people’s lives, however the quirky jokes I make about the ads here and there are all in good fun. My blog isn’t supposed to be all doom and gloom, and making lighthearted jokes about a few of the ads with a more serious subject matter is not ‘tearing’ or ‘devaluing’ the overall message. It’s just me being me.


  8. So, hasn’t ANYONE else EVER seen the weird drug-scare PSA I was talking about, four posts back?


    1. Apologies I didn’t get back to you sooner, but it didn’t ring any bells to me in particular. My knowledge of American PSAs is still rather scarce, but I know how frustrating it can be remembering a certain commercial that nobody else (or the internet) seems to recollect. However I do hope you’re able to find some sort of trace of it soon, and let me know if you do!


  9. Emi (Emilightning) Avatar
    Emi (Emilightning)

    I know this is a super old post, but… how did I not know you had a blog?? I just got lucky and stumbled across it today (doing some research for a review I’m making!) and now I have to binge-read all your posts 😛 It’s nice to finally be able to see your thoughts in one place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Emily 😄 I’m really glad you enjoy reading! I’m sure more posts will be on their way soon! 🙂


  10. Happy 23rd anniversary of the filming of #9 (bumped up to #3 in the redux—and quite rightfully so, in my opinion).

    There’s a lot I could say about this PSA; I might write my own post about it. One thing I’ll post here is this thought:

    I was researching death by heroin overdose… earlier this month? sometime last month? idr. Recently. The page I landed on had other information on heroin addiction, including whether or not withdrawal can be fatal.

    The withdrawal itself isn’t. However, this source said, all of the suffering associated with it can drive a withdrawing user to suicide.

    Really gives new weight to “I bet my life on it”.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That No Brainer commercial is the real definition of crazy.


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