Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Video: Sheriff's Department's Weird And Cheesy 'Don't Do Drugs!' PSA From 1989

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.


In 1989, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department released a cheesy music video encouraging kids not to do drugs or join gangs—or else.The video was shot on Universal Studios backlot, and was produced for the Substance Abuse and Narcotics Education program. The uploaded video begins with a disclaimer that policies on how the department now teaches drug prevention may have changed since 1989. It's pretty funny in 2015—and to be honest it was probably funny then, too.

You know how it is. You and your friend are sitting on a bench in your quaint town, when all of a sudden your friend whips out a mirror and starts cutting up fat lines of blow on it. In broad daylight. For no apparent reason.

You're about to snort up a big rail when you're saved by four Fifties doo-wop teens in poodle skirts who remind you, via song and dance, to not do drugs. (Meanwhile, some other teens are tumbling in your front lawn.) So you just blow the cocaine in your pal's face! That'll teach him to ever share anything with you again!

They also warn about the dangers of joining gangs with a cautionary tale about a poor sap who was just trying to enjoy an ice cream cone when he fell victim to a drive-by shooting.

Support for LAist comes from

Other scenarios include rampaging hordes of teenagers who are blatantly chugging domestic beers out of a convertible, and drug dealers who hang out in dingy alleys that you are know are bad news because someone painted a skull on the wall.

The best line in the song goes, "Just say no [to drugs], and maybe you'll be happy if you do!" Maybe. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Maybe you'd be happier if you did, but we're not saying that. We're just saying there are a lot of possible trajectories your life could take.

It's not quite as dramatic as their active shooter video, but it's a nice ditty for a mid-afternoon break.