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You use, you lose - what are you

© UNICEF Malaysia/2006
UNICEF Malaysia Representative Gaye Phillips tells clubbers why using drugs is for losers at the launch of Keep the Music Clean 2006

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 July 2006 - Young people, including clubbers, can now log online to to learn about drugs and why using is for losers. The website is part of a club campaign designed to engage, educate and empower young people to resist the temptation to experiment with drugs. 

Titled “Keep the Music Clean”, the campaign reminds us to create safe environments for young people so they can enjoy good music and quality DJ-ing without the harm caused as a result of drug abuse. It takes its anti-drug messages to the physical and virtual spaces frequented by young people such as clubs, the radio and the internet.

“We know that “clubbing” is part of contemporary social life for young people in many parts of the world, including in Malaysia and we welcome “clubbing” as a positive activity. It brings young people together to socialise and express themselves. And we believe this shouldn’t be compromised by the threat of drug abuse”, said Gaye Phillips, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia at the launch of “Keep the Music Clean 2006”. 

Keep the Music Clean

Concerned about the increased availability of so called “feel good” drugs such as amphetamines and ecstasy, Zouk Kuala Lumpur and UNICEF launched the “Keep the Music Clean” campaign in 2005. A host of activities including a special gig by anti-drug activist and world renowned DJ, Paul Van Dyk, resonated with young people. A three-month long pledge drive resulted in approximately 2,000 club goers signing on to commit to “Keep the Music Clean”.

“2005 Keep the Music Clean” campaign was so successful we agreed to make it an annual event. We are especially pleased with the response from club goers to the pledge drive. It’s clear that, given the opportunity and the correct information, young people choose to act responsibly and not take part in risky behaviour,” added Phillips.

© UNICEF Malaysia/2006
Young clubbers with anti-drug messages at the event

Resisting temptation

Possibly because of lack of information, and lack of essential life-skills to resist pressure, some young people find it hard to withstand the temptation to experiment with drugs. Not all young people understand the link between actions today and consequences tomorrow. Aside from health risks such as personality disorders and respiratory problems, UNICEF is also concerned that young people under the influence of drugs may engage in other risky behaviour such as unprotected sex and so increase the chance to contract HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Seeing beyond the immediate high

“” website is one way to talk directly to young people to help them see beyond the immediate “high” of “feel good” drugs to understand the long term repercussions of drug abuse and the negative effect on relationships, looks and their bank balance!  Created and managed by a young team of web designers from Grey Global Group in Malaysia, the website has four sections which are currently online:

Event Information (about Keep the Music Clean)

  • Drugs (straight facts on the risks and effects of drugs especially those popular with club goers such as amphetamines, crack, ecstasy, GHB, marijuana, ketamine)
  • Repercussions (5 reasons why young people use drugs and why they will lose if they use)
  • Downloads (screensavers with anti-drug messages)

“It was truly a fun and educational experience for us working on this project and partnering with UNICEF, Zouk and since we are all trying to reach the same goal. The internet is definitely a good medium to raise awareness about drugs since a majority of Malaysia’s urban youth spend much of their time surfing the internet. We are hoping that with this site, we can help young clubbers and non-clubbers realize what can happen to them if they pop” said website designers Alfred and Juin. 

The website can also be accessed through Zouk and websites, both of which are popular with young people.

Partying to the rhythm of life

According to Phillips, “There are many good reasons to party without drugs. Most important is independence. Without drugs to cloud judgment, young people themselves, and not drugs, are in control of their lives. From the day we are born, we struggle towards adulthood and yearn for the independence it brings. Why throw it all way to become a slave to party drugs?"

“It’s much more attractive and chic to dance to your own rhythm rather than the downbeat of someone else’s profit making from the sale of drugs”, she added.

“Keep the Music Clean” is a communications partnership between Zouk Kuala Lumpur, Grey Global Group, and UNICEF in support of “Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS”.



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