By Ben Wheeler
A SHOCKING drugs propaganda video from the 1950’s which claims that if drug addicts are lucky they “will die early,” has resurfaced.
The clip, which was produced in the United States, was created for the purpose of acquainting law enforcement agencies with some of the problems of narcotics enforcement.
It is accompanied by an ominous and eerie beating drum as the film’s two narrators discuss narcotics and how they are “poisoning the blood of our country.”
The video features shocking imagery of grown men apparently swaying and writhing uncontrollably due to withdrawal symptoms, whilst another man who has overdosed is covered by a white sheet.
An additional shot shows a young woman, assumed to be under the influence of drugs, being dragged from the back of a police car, kicking and screaming.
The film’s narrators don’t appear to hold much hope for addicts or recovering addicts as one asks, “can’t we help him,” to which the other replies “we try, but he’s long past the point of no return.”
They then triumphantly declare that “then we will stop narcotics from entering the country, we will arrest the peddlers, we will educate our young people to the menace, we will put a stop to this!”
The film marks a stark contrast in attitudes towards drug addicts from the era in which it was made compared to today, where such strong and shocking images and languages would likely not be used.
Despite government policy both here in the UK and across the pond still primarily seeing drug use as a criminal issue there is a growing consensus that it also needs to be treated as a health issue which can be successfully treated, as opposed to the rhetoric from the 50s that suggests addicts will be lucky if they meet a swift end.