Is the government's war on drugs a success? No, it's not. You might colour it a successful PR campaign, but not much else. Banging heads and taking stats, making front page news, is nothing more than the time-honoured tradition of putting up a good face. The lords of illusion are at work and everyone else eats it up.
Truth has many colours. In reading the news you get the version of truth endorsed by the news source, which isn't necessarily the truth. It might not be an outright lie, but colourful twists and tweaks cannot be discounted.
Then there are the stats, which, of course, are subject to the interpretation of the person presenting them, which brings us back to the news source.