Just Say No…Doesn’t Cut It

In 1982, the Ad Council created a public service television advertising campaign to discourage America’s children from engaging in recreational drug use. Championed by First Lady Nancy Reagan, it was part of the U.S. “War on Drugs.” The campaign’s slogan adopted the phrase: “Just Say No.”

Catchy, yes. Effective? Not so much.

The problem was that it wasn’t a very good message. It assumes that it’s easy to say no, but peer pressure to conform makes it difficult to say no. Once a child is in a situation in which he is approached to use drugs, it’s often too late.

In fact, in an ironic twist, the child actors involved in the campaign ended up being illegal drug users. Drew Barrymore, for one. John Alford, for another.

A better campaign would have been to think ahead. Avoid getting into difficult situations in the first place. Say, for example, “Just Stay Away.”

God’s word rings out loud and clear on the dangers of the wrong crowd. “Do not join those who drink too much wine” (Proverbs 23:20) or “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them” (1:10).

King Solomon wrote those words as warnings to his own teenagers over two thousand years ago. They’re just as relevant today.

Those are the messages we need to give to our children—wisdom from God’s Word, not wisdom from the Ad Council’s.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. where’s my post? not writing the whole post out again lol you missed a typo mods