Equal time for PDFA, July 8, 2005

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

I mentioned the Partnership for a Drug Free America on this blog earlier this week, and not in what you would describe as in a favorable light.

I wrote something to the effect that it is the fully funded lobbying arm of the liquor and prescription drug industries who do not want any competition when it comes to getting Americans high.

I must confess that this was merely a statement I heard uttered by Bill Maher on television a couple years ago, and not having heard any outcry over it, assumed it to be reasonably accurate.

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On Thursday, I received a polite protest from Nupur Vyas (Yes, my fingers were on the right keys), public affairs group coordinator, Partnership for a Drug Free America.

According to Nupur, "Noop" to his friends, I was incorrect. I said if that was the case I was sorry and would correct the error.

Following is a fact sheet Noop sent about the Partnership for a Drug Free America. It appears in its entirety. While it denies the liquor industry allegation, I can't help but point out that it does not deny the prescription drug industry funding

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America® is a non-profit coalition of professionals from the communications industry.

Using a national drug-education advertising campaign and other forms of media communication, the Partnership exists to help reduce illicit drug use in America.

With deep roots in the advertising industry, the Partnership is comprised of a small staff and hundreds of volunteers from the communications industry, who create and disseminate the Partnership's work.

The organization began in 1986 with seed money provided by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. The Partnership, which receives major funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and support from more than 200 corporations and companies, is strictly non-partisan and accepts no funding from manufacturers of alcohol and/or tobacco products.

All actors in the Partnership's ads appear pro bono through the generosity of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

National research suggests that the Partnership's national advertising campaign n the largest public service campaign in the history of advertising n has played a contributing role in reducing overall drug use in America.

Independent studies and expert interpretation of drug trends support its contributions.

The New York Times has described the Partnership as "one of the most effective drug-education groups in the United States."

In addition to its work on the national level, the Partnership's State/City Alliance Program supports the organization's mission at the local level. Working with state and city governments and locally-based drug prevention organizations, the Partnership provides n at no cost n the guidance, on-site technical assistance and creative materials necessary to shape anti-substance abuse media campaigns tailored to the needs and activities of any given state or city.

The Partnership participates in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, coordinated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. At the core of this multi-faceted initiative is a paid advertising program featuring messages created by the Partnership. The Partnership donates all advertising to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign on a pro bono basis.

For more information on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and its programs, visit the Partnership's Web site at www.drugfree.org.