Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign

Campaign Description

The problem of prescription drug abuse has become a crucial concern for Florida residents recently. Causing numerous patients to suffer from the development of addiction toward prescribed drugs, the specified issue has affected numerous vulnerable groups and continues to cause trouble across multiple communities in Florida (Florida District Attorney, 2016).

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Therefore, a PSA that could address the described concern and outline the resources that people with medical drug dependency could use and the services that they can manage is a reasonable measure to be used in the specified situation. In the campaign against the dependence on prescription drugs, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a PSA that would shed light on the subject matter. Although the PSA is quite informative, it could be improved by including more information about the early symptoms of prescription drug abuse development, as well as a more excellent range of services that patients could address.


The campaign proposes raising awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs and the exposure of children and other vulnerable groups to its abuse; the Florida District Attorney emphasizes the importance of taking two crucial steps. These are shielding vulnerable groups from accidental consumption of prescribed opioids and the encouragement of changing the existing policies toward the use of prescribed drugs by patients. Thus, the collaborative type of proposition is used to encourage vulnerable groups to cooperate with healthcare services in order to address the problem of prescription drug abuse (Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, & Nelson, 2016).

Understandably enough, the PSA emphasizes the former more actively, although the latter also remains an unresolved question in the Florida healthcare system along with the lack of consistency in opioids prescription (Young, Tyndall, & Cottler, 2017). However, given the agenda and the reasons that the Florida District Attorney gives, addressing the concerns associated with the accidental consumption of opioids by children and teenagers is a more relevant and urgent issue to tackle.

Proof Type

The PSA appeals to the emotional side of the argument, making the audiences feel insecure about the safety of their family members and the community, in general. The tendency toward focusing on the emotional impact that a PSA produces is not new and has been used throughout the history of PSA creation (Florida District Attorney, 2016). However, to its credit, the announcement by the Florida District Attorney also offers statistical data such as the number of people dying annually from prescription painkiller overdose (16.000 according to the Florida District Attorney (2016)). Although the facts that the PSA provides are pretty dry and scarce, one should give it credit for the intention to focus on the factual aspect of the issue and avoid resorting to fear-mongering.

Communicating Fear Appeal

The fear appeal is communicated quite clearly in the campaign. The Florida District Attorney (2016) uses entirely graphical images of people being affected by prescribed drugs in order to outline the seriousness of the issue. However, the author does not resort to frightening people into taking action. Instead, the campaign offers a reasonable amount of fear-inducing information as the means of showing the scale of the problem and the consequences of failing to address it.

Therefore, the use of fear in the campaign seems entirely ethical; moreover, it is perceived as necessary to convince the younger audience to recognize the problem of prescription drug abuse and consider seeking help. Thus, by integrating factual information, quite graphic imagery, emotional appeal, and logical reasoning, the PSA produces the expected effect and convinces the target demographic in need to abandon the harmful practice and seek help.

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Florida District Attorney. (2016). Prescription drug abuse public service announcement – Miami. Web.

Pearson, J. C., Nelson, P. E., Titsworth, S., & Nelson, L. (2016). Harter human communication (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Young, H. W., Tyndall, J. A., & Cottler, L. B. (2017). The current utilization and perceptions of prescription drug monitoring programs among emergency medicine providers in Florida. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 10(1), 1-6. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 30). Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/fear-appeal-in-anti-drug-abuse-public-campaign/

Work Cited

"Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign." StudyCorgi, 30 June 2021, studycorgi.com/fear-appeal-in-anti-drug-abuse-public-campaign/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign." June 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/fear-appeal-in-anti-drug-abuse-public-campaign/.


StudyCorgi. "Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign." June 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/fear-appeal-in-anti-drug-abuse-public-campaign/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign." June 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/fear-appeal-in-anti-drug-abuse-public-campaign/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Fear Appeal in Anti-Drug Abuse Public Campaign'. 30 June.

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