Scary Anti-Meth Ads In Idaho Haven’t Changed Abuse By Youth


In the television ad, a bloody young woman wishes she had crashed her car, broken her neck, and become permanently disabled instead of driving to a party and trying meth for the first time. The Idaho Statesman says that the Idaho Meth Project found in a survey that more teens and young adults perceived a “great risk” to using meth since the anti-drug campaign began a year ago. “We’ve seen some significant jumps in perception of risk among teens and young adults,” said Megan Ronk, the project’s director. “We feel we are significantly moving the needle about how teens feel about the drug.”

The survey also showed that despite reaching “70-90 percent of young people 3-5 times a week” with the graphic ad campaign, there has been no change in meth use among teens or young adults. “Our first goal was to influence attitudes and then change behavior,” Ronk said. “We’re hopeful in the next couple years we’ll see that change.” Substance abuse treatment experts say the ads are misleading and use scare tactics that haven’t stopped drug use in the past. Gov. Butch Otter has requested $500,000 from the Millennium Fund for the Idaho Meth Project. Last year, the project received $1 million from the fund. In January, the project rolled out the second wave of its ad campaign, using Idaho kids to talk about how meth use damaged their lives.

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