Is it better or worse than the original?

I grew up in the 1980's. It was a magical time, full of questionable technology, clothing, and haircuts, among many other 80's things.

One iconic thing from the 1980's that everyone who was around to see it remembers is the 'This is Your Brain on Drugs' commercial.

For those who were not born yet, were too young in 1987 when it debuted, or were just living under a rock at that time, the commercial involved a person holding an egg telling the camera 'this is your brain.' The person then points to a hot frying pan and says that it represents drugs.

The person proceeded to crack the egg and pour it onto the hot frying pan, and then said,  'this your brain on drugs.' The commercial ended with him asking viewers, 'any questions?'

'This is Your Brain on Drugs' updated and re-released

The fried egg is back, but this time with a much different messaging approach. Instead of ending with the egg being fried, the new version of the commercial starts with the egg being fried. You can watch it at this link here.

A similar line and visual with the fying pan and egg are used as in the original version. But the 'any questions' line is now followed by a series of questions being asked by youth.

One question asked is, 'weed is legal, isn't it?  'Drinking is worse than smoking weed, isn't it?' is another question. The commercial goes on to ask questions about other substances and encourages parents to be prepared, followed by a bunch of branding for 'Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.'

Is it better or worse than the original?

I am willing to admit that the new version is better than the old version. This admission is not in any way an endorsement of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, or as it was previously known, Partnership for Drug-Free America.

But, this video at least takes a more realistic approach than trying to scare kids into thinking that their brain will instantly fry the second they try any banned substance. Simply scaring kids is a tactic that doesn't work, as history has clearly shown.

The fact of the matter is, kids are going to ask about substances, from sugar to heroin and everything in between. Previous anti-drug campaigns focused heavily on a prohibition based, zero tolerance approach.

Kids are much smarter than that, and by taking an unrealistic approach towards educating young people, it causes much more harm than good.

Where it really counts

Kids are smart, and observant, and if they aren't, then their friends are. They are going to ask questions about using substances, and as a parent myself, I want my son to come to me when he gets older for information, and not do what I did, which was trying to figure it out on my own.

Right now my son is still a toddler, so I have quite a bit of time to figure out my strategy and approach when it comes to substance use. I want my son to be the healthiest he can be, and make the best choices that he can.

I want my son to wait until he is old enough to make the decision to consume responsibly. With that being said, if he consumes cannabis at a younger age than I'm comfortable with, I'm not going to freak out on him either.

This, is where the separation occurs (I can't believe I'm saying this), from where I stop agreeing with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. I agree that kids are going to ask, but I strongly disagree with what the organization says to tell kids.

Cannabis is not a gateway drug. Cannabis does not ruin your life. A lot of very successful, perfectly smart, perfectly healthy adults consume cannabis, and there's nothing wrong with that. Additionally, if you’re struggling with addiction, cannabis + mindfulness can be an effective treatment for harm reduction and addiction recovery.

What is wrong is continuing to provide youth with outdated, and often times incorrect reefer madness style propeganda. Like I said, kids are smart, and they are getting better at finding info that debunks a lot of what organizations like Partnership for Drug-Free Kids are pushing.

Once credibility is gone with a young person, it's gone forever. I know, personally, this was the case with me. I was a product of D.A.R.E. and looking back, it all seemed like a lot of propaganda, none of which was helpful growing up!

If you are a parent, get educated, because kids are going to get information from somewhere, and it's best if it is fact based and comes from you. Feel free to e-mail me at if you need any talking points.

How do you feel about the new fried egg commercial?

How do you feel about the new fried egg commercial?

better than the original
worse than the original
both of them are equally awful