A federal-private coalition has launched the Minnesota branch of a national ad campaign against methamphetamine abuse, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Although meth abuse had declined in a 2003 survey of high school students, the Partnership for a Drug Free America had a Roper Poll done last year that found 25 percent of about 7,400 youth, ages 12 to 17, said they had friends who had used meth. Almost half of those surveyed saw “no great risk” in trying the meth once or twice.
That response raises concerns because it not only shows ignorance of the toxic ingredients in meth but also because teenagers often try something if their friends have done it, said the partnerships’ Mike Townsend. The ad campaign began this month in Des Moines and Springfield, Mo., and will be continued in 20 more cities, from Tampa to Seattle in coming weeks. The partnership had the 20- to 30-second spots created free by top ad agencies. Nationwide, about 12 million people have tried meth at least once, with 1.4 million people reporting use in the past year.