Safe is the new cool
High school is the period when teens are exposed to major changes (emotional, mental and social) in their lives. This project responds to the needs of adolescents who want to experiment with drugs, but who do not have the knowledge on this topic due to the lack of information available online or the lack of support from their environment (friends / family).
Therefore, even if the case study was Romania, due to my personal understanding of the place, the public is every high school teenager who knows English and is in a place where drug-related topics are still taboo. In certain places, I strongly believe in the need for such a project, because being informed means L I V I N G! The guide is both educational and engaging – I didn’t use a scaremongering approach, as anti-drug campaigns do. Rather, my project involves horizontal communication and really speaks for teenagers.
By creating this guide, I intend to help readers who want to use drugs, to do so in a more responsible way. As teenagers go from middle school to high school, they need to see the big picture. Consequently, it was thought in a way that, if teenagers do not receive answers to their questions from someone, they will find them in this guide, as well as receive advice on what to really consider and what to avoid if/when taking drugs. There will be quoted excerpts from the answers I received from people who have tried drugs at some point in their lives, and decided to share experiences and perspective.
The mentioned drugs are chosen after analysis in interviews with appropriate subjects (due to their age and experience). I also collaborated with a Romanian psychologist in this process, to make sure I was sensitive enough in the communication. A long-term benefit of the guide could be seen in society, in addition to the one it will have in the life of each individual. It would create a more sustainable future, as this would help reduce domestic violence, crime, rape and child abuse, which are often associated with drug use. In addition, through the choices that I made concerning the illustrations, the guide promotes the care of adolescents, as well as it reinforces care as a lifestyle, focusing on social wellbeing, social cohesion, friendship and the community. Last but not least, it is about social inclusion, as it takes into account the real questions that teenagers might have, as well as the opinions of those who have tried drugs, giving them voice.In total, I managed to create 6six different scenarios for three different drugs, the most commonly used in Romania (cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy).
I used digital illustration as the main medium to create the set and setting. Then I used a platform called Twine, for interactive games, because I wanted the result to be online, interactive and captivating.