Holland Pays Youtubers to Do Drugs
After hundreds of unsuccessful aggressive anti-drug campaigns in which there’s always violence and suffering, a new kind of revolutionary and innovative anti-drug campaign has been created. Holland now pays three youtubers to consume drugs and explain their effects to the general public.
This YouTube channel, called Drugslab, currently has 510k subscribers since they began in March 2016, and a total of 22 million views. Basically on their channel they try many different drugs like ketamine, LSD, hash, amphetamines or poppers. Every week they upload a video in which they try a different drug, as well as another separate video in which they give a detailed description of each drug. Every video begins with a message in Dutch and in English which explains that their channel is purely educational and the videos are made with the intention of letting people see the effects of each drug, not to promote drug consumption. The channel is well-known all through Holland and Europe, getting over 100k visits a day.
The three well-known Dutch youtubers that present the show are Rens Polman, Nellie Rener and Bastian Rosman. In each video two of the youtubers appear and one of them tries the drug in question. The person trying the drug has a heart rate meter and a thermometer attached, with a screen in the background that displays heart rate and body temperature. Behind the cameras they have specialists that monitor the person that has taken the drugs; this makes for a much safer test due to the fact that if the person who is testing the drugs has an elevated heart rate or their body temperature is much too high, these specialists can get to them quickly and efficiently.
After taking the drug, the tester then has to do a set of basic tests that measure capability and dexterity under the effects of whichever drug they’ve taken. You can see them go crazy over the simplest of tasks that they would be able to do without any issues if they were sober. The youtuber who is sober will also try and alter the tester’s humor, causing the tester to become extremely sad or even ridiculously happy.
On the channel you can see that they consider themselves to be an educational channel; every Friday they try new drugs, and anyone can suggest a drug or action for them to try while drugged with the hashtag #drugslab. Each video also has a detailed description of the effects that each drug produces and they even recommend a safe way to consume the drug with a recommended dosage, as well as telling viewers how they should react if they find themselves under the effects of one of the drugs. In each episode you can see a message from BNN insisting that the whole show is filmed by specialists and that in each and every video there are a team of doctors behind the cameras prepared to take on any emergency that might happen in such an environment.
This channel is financed by the Dutch government and it forms part of SLIKKEN, a polemic Dutch program that has been on air since 2005. In the program, people get invited every week and they basically debate things like drugs and sex, talking in detail about many drugs and sexually transmitted diseases. SLIKKEN is owned by BNN, a channel designed for teenagers and young adults which has been in the news a few times already due to its unconventional content.
The videos are in Dutch but have English subtitles, although being educational, other languages might be added to the mix quite soon.
Translation: Ciara Murphy