Egypt Independent

Salah’s counter-drug addiction campaign reaches 5 mn Facebook viewers in 3 days



Football star Mohamed Salah’s ad campaign ‘You Are Stronger Than Drugs’, launched by Egypt’s Fund for Drug Control and the Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA), affiliated to the Ministry of Social Solidarity, recorded five million viewers on the fund’s official Facebook page, in the first 72 hours of its launching, a statement by the FDCTA said on Thursday.

88 percent of viewers were aged between 12-35 years old. The total number of views on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube recorded 8.4 million in 72 hours. Over 19,000 people reacted to the video, 23,000 others shared it, 13,000 people commented, and 359,000 liked it, the statement read.

The statement said the majority of comments were positive and in favor of the campaign.

Calls on the campaign’s hotline – 16023 – for the treatment of addiction increased during the three days since the launch of the ad by 400 percent, compared to the number of calls received by the hotline during the same period in March, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Waly announced.

Calls to the hotline varied as some requested treatment at hospitals and medical centers affiliated to the FDCTA, while others just needed counseling, she added.

Salah contributed to the ad, launched on March 31.

At the beginning of the ad, a young man has two examples in his life, the first is a group of friends who use drugs and the second is Salah.

The young man appears sitting with his friends and watching the last match between Egypt and the Congo. Everybody appears frustrated after Congo scores a goal, including the young man’s friends who just decide to not to continue watching the match.

The young man watches Salah encouraging his teammates before scoring a goal against Congo, enabling Egypt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The man decides to keep away from his friends who are addicted to drugs and opts to have Salah as his role model.

The advertisement includes a song for Mohamed Hamaki.

The song translates as: “Move across hardships, loss will turn into victory. Life is not about luck. Our life moves clockwise which means never look back. Life still has many things to offer. Instead of getting addicted to something that leads you to death, get addicted to life.”

After the song ends, Salah appears on-screen to send a number of messages to the youth, explaining the dangers of drug abuse.

“Get addicted to success, don’t get addicted to what drags you backwards. You are stronger than surrender. You are stronger than drugs. You sure won’t let it beat you,” Salah says.

Salah announced earlier that he volunteered in the campaign out of solid belief in the importance of combating addiction among young Egyptians.