Bringing the Truth About Drugs to Times Square
- Every year in the U.S.
the total cost of prescription opioid misuse is $78.5 billion.
- The world’s illicit drug market is over $400 billion annually, with North America accounting for 44% of drug sales, Europe at 33% and Asia at 11%.
- 57,000 people visit drugfreeworld.org every day—that’s 2,370 an hour.
- Last year, over 206 million people were reached with the Drug-Free World campaign.
Every day, more than 190 Americans die from drug overdose, which is higher than the deaths caused by HIV, car crashes or gun violence at their peaks.
Internationally, an estimated 27 million people suffer from opioid addiction. Cannabis is the world’s most widely consumed drug, with over 183 million users. The cultivation of cannabis plants have been reported in 135 countries—70 percent of all countries on Earth.
To counteract this widespread drug-epidemic, grants from the IAS sponsor the distribution of Drug-Free World materials on a global scale. Every online order at drugfreeworld.org is delivered free of charge, with over 6,000 people and organizations ordering materials each month.
Another important component of the campaign is the Drug-Free World PSAs (public service announcements).
These powerful, in-your-face PSAs, deliver the truth about the harmful effects of the most commonly abused drugs.
The Truth About Drugs PSAs are airing on three mega electronic billboards in Times Square, New York, for two consecutive weeks. Starting in April, the ads will run every hour, 24 hours a day, on billboards as big as 7,000 square feet (650 sq. meters). One set of billboards extends across 21 floors of a skyscraper that can be seen from as far as Central Park. Another billboard on the corner of 42nd Street and 7th Ave, stands across the entrance of the busiest subway stop in the U.S.
On April 7th, World Health Day, a team of volunteers distributed thousands of the Truth About Drugs booklets in Times Square. Pro athletes—including members of the Harlem Globetrotters and former NFL players joined the volunteers to help with the distribution.
With over 380,000 people passing through Times Square daily, the Truth About Drugs message will reach millions.