WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR LAUNCHES NEW ANTI-METHAMPHETAMINE CAMPAIGN
New Initiative Targets Young Adults with Message of Hope
(Washington, DC)—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, a mong 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, www.methresources.gov.
The Anti-Meth Campaign Web site (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 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.