Fight the New Drug is a nonprofit organization centered in Utah that has one goal: to fight the effects of pornography. The organization’s founder, Clay Olsen, visited UVU March 8 to speak about what the organization means when they say they are fighting the effects of pornography. Although many would characterize Olsen as an entrepreneur, he would characterize himself as a fighter.
“I never planned on doing this when I was young. This wasn’t on the list of career options growing up,” Olsen said in front of a student-body audience in the Grande Ballroom.
Olsen said that the reason he decided to create this organization was through watching his cousin struggle with pornography. His cousin was later put in prison for some sexual related crime. Olsen’s cousin claimed that the beginning of his path to being put in prison was due to an addiction to pornography.
After watching his cousin’s experience, Olsen decided he wanted to create an organization to help those affected by pornography.
The majority of the conference was spent by Olsen giving statistics on the effects of pornography on the brain. Through neuroscience, scientists are discovering that the brain makes similar chemical reactions as it does when someone uses cocaine or other harmful substances.
“This isn’t a new movement or a new discovery,” Olsen said. “There are communities and organizations all around that world that are fighting pornography. It all starts with us standing up and making society aware of the real danger. This movement isn’t about fighting the old, it’s about building the new.”
Fight the New Drug labels itself as a “fight for love.” The organization spends most of its time traveling the world to educate people on the effects of pornography and focuses on building real, tangible relationships rather than a cyber relationship. A lot of the education focuses on the effect pornorgraphy has on younger people. Olsen showed statistics that youth as young as 14 are being introduced to pornorgraphy and that age continues to drop due to the easiness of accessing pornography through technology.
Although the organization focuses on educating people on the effects of pornography, it also hosts a “fitbit to recovery” program for those seeking help to gaining a pornography-free life called Fortify. Through Fortify, those seeking to end the use of pornography have access to online therapists and a step-by-step program.
“I thought it was very enlightening,” said Kelly Martin, a junior studying public health. “I think a lot of people don’t realize this is an actual problem or that there are real health issues. I think it’s great what they do with helping people see there is a problem.”
It is a common misconception that Olsen’s organization is set on stopping the pornography industry. In answer to a student’s question if the end goal for the organization was to stop all pornography, Olsen said their goal wasn’t to stop the production of pornography, but to educate.
“Imagine you are in a busy city like Time’s Square,” Olsen said. “If you were to walk up to someone and ask them if pornography was harmful and they answer yes, that would be our goal. Just as we know now that cigarettes are harmful for us when back then people saw them as healthy, we want to do the same thing with pornography.”
“I felt he answered that question really well and I liked his analogy,” junior business management major Adam Bean said. “I think it’s great that their end goal isn’t to end pornography but to focus on educating people and letting them decide.”