The Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing methamphetamine use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Founded by businessman Thomas M. Siebel as a private-sector response to a critical public health issue, the research-based campaign has been cited by the White House as one of the most effective prevention programs and a model for the nation. Named the 3rd most effective philanthropy in the world by Barron's in its latest global ranking, the Meth Project has been credited with significant declines in teen Meth use in several states. Since the Project's launch, teen Meth use has declined 65% in Arizona1, 63% in Montana2, and 52% in Idaho3.

The Problem

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is one of the greatest drug threats to the nation. In 2011, the agency reported Meth is at its highest levels of availability, purity, and lowest cost since 2005 due to increased supply from Mexico and growing rates of small-scale domestic production.

Methamphetamine's effects cost the U.S. between $16.2 and $48.3 billion per year.4 Meth is one of the most addictive substances known and its use imposes a significant disproportionate burden on individuals and society in money spent on treatment, healthcare, and foster care services, as well as the costs of crime and lost productivity.

The Campaign

As of September 2005, the Meth Project has sustained a large-scale prevention campaign spanning TV, radio, billboards, newspapers, and the Internet, across 8 states. This campaign includes:
  • 269,000 TV ads
  • 300,900 radio ads
  • 9,290,000 print impressions
  • 10,800 billboards
  • 1,148,319,842 online impressions

Montana Results since 2005:

  • Montana ranks #39 in the nation for Meth abuse5
  • Teen Meth use has declined by 63%6
  • Adult Meth use has declined by 72%7
  • Meth-related crime has decreased by 62%8
Following the Meth Project's success in Montana, the model was implemented in 7 additional states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Wyoming. Arizona and Idaho, two of the early adopters of the Meth Project model, are seeing results similar to Montana.

Arizona Results since 2007:

  • Lifetime Meth use declined by over 65% among teens9
  • Meth use in the past 30 days declined by over 69% among teens10
  • 85% of teens now see risk in trying Meth just once or twice (up 12 points)11
  • Since 2007, teens are more likely to see great risk in trying Meth in nearly all risk areas measured, including: getting hooked (94%, up 7 points), becoming violent (81%, up 7 points), turning into someone they don't want to be (89%, up 8 points), dying (83%, up 8 points), stealing (75%, up 8 points), neglecting personal hygiene (79%, up 9 points), and getting insomnia (78%, up 11 points)12

Idaho Results since 2008:

  • Teen Meth use in Idaho dropped 52% between 2007 and 2009, the largest decline in the nation13

Compared to the 2007 benchmark survey, Idaho teens have come to view Meth as more dangerous and recognize the Idaho Meth Project as a key source of information.

  • 81% report the Idaho Meth Project Ads made them less likely to try or use Meth14
  • 65% of teens (up 10 points) now see significant risks in taking Meth just once or twice15
  • Since 2007, the number of teens who see "great risk" in 14 potentially negative consequences of trying Meth has risen considerably on every item, including: tooth decay (65%; up 17 points), lack of hygiene (67%; up 16 points), stealing (70%; up 16 points), getting hooked on Meth (81%; up 10 points), losing control of themselves (78%; up 15 points), having sex with someone they don't want to (71%; up 13 points), and turning into someone they don't want to be (80%; up 11 points).16

1 Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Youth Survey, 2010.
2 6 Montana Office of Public Instruction, 2009 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey. June 2009.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2010.
4 RAND, The Economic Cost of Methamphetamine Use In the United States, 2005. February 2009.
5 Office of National Drug Control Policy, Pushing Back Against Meth: A Progress Report on the Fight Against Methamphetamine in the United States. November 2006.
7,8 Montana Attorney General, Mike McGrath. Methamphetamine in Montana: A Follow-up Report on Trends and Progress. April 2008.
9,10 8th, 10th and 12th graders surveyed. Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Youth Survey. 2010.
11,12 Arizona Meth Use and Attitudes Survey, 2008
13 Centers for Disease Control. 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 2010.
14,15,16 2010 Idaho Meth Use & Attitudes Survey

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