FRANK is a national drug education service jointly established by the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government in 2003. It is intended to reduce the use of both legal and illegal drugs by educating teenagers and adolescents about the potential effects of drugs and alcohol. It has run many media campaigns on, radio and the internet.
FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs:
- A website
- A confidential telephone number, available 24 hours a day
- A confidential live chat service, available from 2pm-6pm daily
- A service to locate counselling and treatment
Talk To FRANK produced a short film in 2007 entitled "Brain Warehouse", produced by RSA Films. The film, directed by Ronnie West, follows 10 teenage boys and girls who are using different drugs and shows the good and bad sides of taking them.
FRANK has been accused of presenting false and misleading information about drugs. One example occurred in 2007 when the site had to remove an article entitled "Cannabis Explained" after several groups (some of which advocate the decriminalisation of cannabis use) pointed out errors in the information presented. The Transform Drug Policy Foundation criticised FRANK's campaign on cocaine on the basis that the harms it depicted are a result of legal prohibition rather than the drug itself.
The Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith criticised FRANK and drug education more generally in a February 2010 speech, arguing that "Drugs education programmes, such as Talk to FRANK, have failed on prevention and intervention, instead progressively focussing on harm reduction and risk minimisation, which can be counter-productive." The Centre for Social Justice, a think tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith, further argued in a December 2010 paper that FRANK "has proved ineffectual and even damaging, to the point of giving information as to the ‘cost’ and immediate physical effects of drugs more prominently than driving home the danger."
- "'Frank' anti-drugs drive backed". BBC News. 2003-05-23.
- "Treatments for drug and alcohol addiction | Topics, Drugs and Alcohol, Young People's Experiences | healthtalk.org". Youthhealthtalk.org. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
- "Advertising (media),Media,Society,Mental health (Society),Young people (Society)". The Guardian. London. 2009-02-16.
- "Frank news | The latest stories and articles. | FRANK". Talktofrank.com. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
- "FRANK". Talktofrank.com. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
- [dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
- imdb listing
- "UKCIA - The document FRANK had to withdraw". Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "KFX Drugs Blog - Frankly Unnacceptable". Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "TDPF: FRANK confuses cocaine harms with prohibition harms". Retrieved 22 April 2009.
- [dead link]
- The Centre for Social Justice. "Addiction - The Centre of Social Justice" (PDF). Centreforsocialjustice.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-30.