The Meth Project, a nonprofit organization started in the state of Montana, is using radio, TV, billboards, the Internet and grass roots community outreach to deliver the message to teens not to use Meth – “Not Even Once.” These ads deliver hard-core messages.
Targeted to teens, the ads are flashbacks of a young and vibrant teen thinking about using Meth but saying only one time. As the ad progresses, the teen turns into a sorry looking teen with sores and bruises all over their face and arms, smoking, snorting or shooting meth, stealing and selling their bodies. These ads are very impressive. In Montana where the Meth Project was originally launched, statistics show after two years of showing these ads, Meth use has declined by 72% as well as Meth-related crime has decreased by 62%.
Recently, Colorado has begun showing these ads. A recent survey showed that a third of Colorado young adults and 20% of teenagers say they have access to methamphetamine. 91% of teens disapprove taking the drug, but 30% say that they wouldn’t try to convince their friends not to take the drug. Perhaps seeing these ads will change their minds.
The Colorado campaign has gone through significant focus group testing. As a result, the ads are targeted to cut through all the clutter in young adult and teenagers’ lives and grab their attention immediately. The ads are compelling but accurate and are shown at least three times a week in order to reach 70 to 80 percent of teens.
Because of the close proximity to Mexico where “super labs” manufacture huge quantities of meth, Colorado is running these ads because of the disproportionate number of meth users in the intermountain area. Colorado ranks eighth in the country for per-capita meth use and the cost to the state is roughly $1.4 billion a year.
Meth is highly addictive amphetamine and is produced by using ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which is found in over-the-counter medicines. Other common household products are added to the manufacturing process including fertilizer, nail-polish remover, lye, drain cleaner and brake fluid. The drug unnaturally raises dopamine levels to more than 10 times the amount caused by life’s normal pleasures.