FRANK (drugs)

FRANK is a national anti-drug advisory service jointly established by the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government in 2003.[1][2] It is intended to reduce the use of both legal and illegal drugs by educating teenagers and adolescents about the potential effects of drugs. It has run many media campaigns on television,[3] radio[4] and the internet.[5][6]


FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs:[7]


Talk To Frank, along with RSA Films produced a short film in 2007 entitled "Brain Warehouse".[8] The film, directed by Ronnie West, follows 10 teenage boys and girls who are using different drugs and explores the positives and negative aspects of recreational drug use.

The most well-known Frank advertisements are focused on Pablo, a small dog used as a mule to smuggle cocaine into the United Kingdom. Voiced by David Mitchell, the 6 adverts follow Pablo as he attempts to learn about cocaine and why people choose to use it. The adverts received much praise from the media and general public.[9]


In 2007, FRANK removed a website article titled "Cannabis Explained" after several groups pointed out errors in the information presented.[10][11]

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."[12] The Centre for Social Justice, a right-wing 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."[13]


  1. ^ "'Frank' anti-drugs drive backed". BBC News. 2003-05-23.
  2. ^ "Treatments for drug and alcohol addiction | Topics, Drugs and Alcohol, Young People's Experiences |". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  3. ^ "Advertising (media),Media,Society,Mental health (Society),Young people (Society)". The Guardian. London. 2009-02-16.
  4. ^ "Frank news | The latest stories and articles. | FRANK". 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  5. ^ "FRANK". 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2016-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2011-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ imdb listing
  9. ^ Donaghy, James (10 January 2009). "The Hard Sell: Pablo the drug mule dog". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  10. ^ "UKCIA - The document FRANK had to withdraw". Retrieved 2008-04-04.[dead link]
  11. ^ "KFX Drugs Blog - Frankly Unnacceptable". Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ The Centre for Social Justice. "Addiction - The Centre of Social Justice" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-30.

External linksEdit