For nearly three decades our graphic has been used in hard copy and electronic formats in substance abuse awareness, education and prevention activities. Most readers and viewers have fully understood the message. Only two misunderstandings (one from the Internet) have thus far been reported to the publishers.
The graphic ("If you can't say 'No' - Get Help!!!"), is aimed at an audience which can relate to it. That demographic population has suffered far more casualties and fatalities from substance abuse than the ignoramuses in hoods and sheets have ever inflicted. (That is the message.)
When the graphic was first sketched back in 1986, it was after a drug related tragedy in a major metropolitan area (less than three miles from the site of the World Trade Center - "Ground Zero" of 9/11/2001). It briefly was able to catch the attention of some young people with the statement, "The cemetery is getting full!"
If you observe the fact that the middle figure in the picture is thinner than those on either side, and notice the copyright dates on the graphic, you might be able to relate to the history.
With the usage of the "crack" form of cocaine overtaking the use of the powdered form in certain demographic areas in the years since 1986, a colleague of the artist in secondary education recommended rearranging the order of the titles on the figures (in 1996).
This was done without redrawing the figures (which explains the lack of symmetry in the cemetery for those who may have copies of both the original and later versions of the graphics).
So much for the "history lesson."
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