time for change

If the threat of death isn’t enough to deter teens from prescription drug abuse, maybe the prospect of vomiting, spastic shakes and diarrhea will be.

That’s the reasoning behind a set of public service executions created by North Castle Partners for Purdue Pharma, maker of the popular painkiller Oxycontin.

The Stamford, Conn., agency will launch the effort this fall; posters will appear in schools, community centers and other areas where teens congregate. The idea is to play up the nasty side effects rather than dwell on the possibility of death, which seems distant and unlikely to many teens.

One poster reads, “Rubbing tuna fish in your armpits does not make a good deodorant. And itchy red skin splotches caused by abusing prescription drugs look nasty.”

In another, text reads, “Scalding hot bacon fat should not be used as aftershave. And explosive diarrhea caused by prescription drug abuse ruins pants.”

All feature the tag, “Painfully obvious” over visuals of a human brain, as well as the Web address, painfullyobvious.com.