Tags: drug | czar

Drug Czar Launches New Anti-Meth Campaign

Tuesday, 04 Sep 2007 08:49 PM

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WASHINGTON -- The White House National

Drug Control Policy Director, John Walters, today announced a new campaign

targeting young adult methamphetamine (meth) users. The Anti-Meth Campaign,

coordinated through the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign, includes

advertising and public education outreach to raise awareness about the

dangers of meth and provide information about the effectiveness and

availability of meth treatment. The main target audience for the Campaign

is young adults, ages 18 to 34.

"We've made great progress in recent years on the meth problem.

Domestic lab production of meth is down and use rates are declining,"

Walters said. "But in certain areas of this country, meth continues to have

devastating effects on users, their families, and communities. We must

continue to raise awareness about the extreme negative consequences

associated with this drug, while providing those in its grip with the

treatment and support they need. This Campaign is an important step in our

ongoing effort against meth use."

Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that can be taken

orally, injected, snorted, or smoked. Often called "speed" or "ice," meth

is available as a crystal-like powdered substance or in large rock-like

chunks. Meth users are prone to violence and neglectful behavior that can

affect their children and neighbors. The chemicals used in meth production

are flammable and highly toxic, posing a threat to both the environment and

residents.

ONDCP is launching its Anti-Meth Campaign this week in eight States

where meth prevalence and treatment admissions rates are high (Alaska,

Washington, California, Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky). The

Campaign is expected to run through March 2008 in those markets. The

Campaign will extend to four additional States through print advertising

(Minnesota, Wyoming, Alabama, and Utah), and nationally through news media

outreach and online resources.

According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10.4

million Americans age 12 and older have tried methamphetamine at least once

in their lifetimes. While teen meth use is down significantly in recent

years and past month use is less than one percent, young adults continue to

use. In fact, among 18 to 25 year olds, there are nearly 200,000 current

meth users. The Anti-Meth Campaign is directed toward 18-34 year-olds,

whose meth use tends to be higher and who are often key influencers of

teens.

In the Spring of 2007, ONDCP issued a solicitation for meth

advertising. The process was open to organizations willing to donate fully

produced ads, and more than 100 submissions were received. Advertising

materials were then subjected to a rigorous screening process, which

included review by subject matter experts in the fields of social

marketing, advertising, and public health. Additionally, the television ads

were individually tested among 1,500 members of the target audience to

ensure ad believability and relevance. Television advertising included in

the Anti-Meth Campaign was donated by the Partnership for a Drug Free

America, The Meth Project, and the Tennessee District Attorneys General

Conference. ONDCP created supplemental print, radio, and Web banner

advertisements to support the Anti-Meth Campaign.

Select print advertisements, such as the Campaign's print "Open Letter"

ads, may be used by local organizations as PSAs. The Open Letter ads

highlight the effectiveness of meth treatment and community involvement,

while dispelling myths about the drug and who is using it. ONDCP has

partnered with key law enforcement, treatment, and prevention organizations

to co-sign the letters. Signatory partners for the Open Letter ads include:

National Narcotics Officers' Associations' Coalition (NNOAC), Association

for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), National Association of Addiction

Treatment Providers (NAATP), State Association of Addiction Services

(SAAS), American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), National Drug

Enforcement Officers Association (NDEOA), National Association of Counties

(NACO), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCA), National Council of State

Legislators (NCSL) and National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Another key element of the Anti-Meth Campaign will be a photography

exhibit titled "Life After Meth," featuring the portraits and testimonials

of recovering meth users, law enforcement officials, and substance abuse

professionals who've battled the scourge of meth. Their stories give

insight into the impact meth has had on individuals, families, and

communities and provide a message of hope. These photo testimonials will be

part of a traveling exhibit and will be featured online at the Anti-Meth

Campaign Web site, http://www.methresources.gov.

The Anti-Meth Campaign Web site (http://www.methresources.gov) links

visitors to meth treatment resources and provides more information about

the signs and symptoms of meth use and rates of use by State. Community

organizations and other groups involved in meth prevention can download Web

banners, print advertisements, and radio ads from the Web site for use as

PSAs in their local markets.

For more information on the Anti-Meth Campaign and to view advertising

and other resources, visit http://www.methresources.gov.

Since its inception in 1998, the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media

Campaign has conducted outreach to millions of parents, teens, and

communities to prevent and reduce teen drug use. Counting on an

unprecedented blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit

community service organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth

communications, the Campaign is designed to reach Americans of diverse

backgrounds with effective anti-drug messages.

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