Drug Aware


Drug Aware was established in 1996 as part of a state framework of educational strategies designed to address illicit drug use among young people in Western Australia. The program aims to educate with factual, credible and accurate information so that young people can make informed decisions.

The brief was to develop a three-year education campaign and engagement strategy focused on preventing and/or delaying the uptake of methamphetamine use, and reducing harm associated with use. Research told us this would be no easy task.

Methamphetamine (meth) is an illegal amphetamine-type stimulant. These stimulants affect the activity of certain chemicals in the brain. Use of the drug is putting pressure on society in a number of ways, on top the obvious health risks associated with use, and media being rife with misinformation. 

In WA the rate of people using amphetamines at some time in the last 12 months increased from 3.4% in 2010 to 3.8% in 2013 (AIHW 2011; AIHW 2014). This remains lower than any time in the previous decade but there has been a recent and concerning increase in harms. Currently, in WA of those that do use amphetamines, more are choosing to use methamphetamine, a more potent form, and they are using it more frequently (AIHW 2014).

In WA over the past 5 years, the number of people presenting to Emergency Departments for amphetamines has increased and there have been increases in the rate of hospitalisations (Epidemiology Branch 2014).

While these facts are alarming, the key insights came from the stories meth users shared with us. These were people who wanted to help others stop meth taking control. 


The stories revealed one common thread that inspired the creative idea: one poor decision can set off a chain of events with terrible consequences. We wanted to deliver a key message: Methamphetamine use can impact your whole life.

We decided to tell these stories, but to make them more compelling we told them in reverse. By doing this, we could lead with the consequence itself.

(The people who have shared their experiences and stories have not been used in the advertising in order to protect their identity.)

The campaign was developed in collaboration with the Methamphetamine Campaign Expert Advisory Group, made up of a number of experts in the area of illicit drug use to ensure all information presented was factual and accurate. Collaborators included WA Police, Royal Perth Hospital - Emergency and Speech Pathology Departments, St John Ambulance, National Drug Research Institute, Cyrenian House, WA Substance Users Association, Next Step, Alcohol and Drug Support Line and the Parent and Family Drug Support Line. We also worked closely with research agency TNS and the government media agency.

Campaign ideas and concepts were tested amongst the target audience to ensure credibility and believability of the materials, and to ensure the advertisements do not normalise the use of methamphetamine.



The integrated campaign was delivered across a wide range of touch points, including out of home, radio, video delivered via Facebook and the Tube Mogul network, targeted digital and search.



Campaign performance is tracked by the ongoing TNS monitor. We also know that engagement figures for the videos are high, as the following data reveal.

The Facebook display campaign achieved 44,270 clicks to the website. There were two Facebook video campaigns optimised to different objectives. The video views campaign achieved 312,189 views, 16.03% were viewed to completion. The video website clicks campaign achieved 914 clicks to the website.

Overall the three Facebook campaigns combined reached 764,742 profiles.

The Tube Mogul campaign delivered 426,765 views, of which 71.70% were viewed to completion. In-Display ads ran on YouTube and achieved 32,352 views, of which 35.04% were viewed to completion.

Tagged as:

  • Creative
  • Media
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Online/App
  • Social Media