Colorado Meth Project Launches Video Campaign to Raise Awareness

By Paul Gaita 10/06/16

The Colorado Meth Project's "Not Even Once" campaign has already made a measurable impact on local teens.

Colorado Meth Project Launches Video Campaign to Raise Awareness

Methamphetamine use continues to wreak havoc among Colorado residents. According to recent data, increased access to the drug has sent the number of adults seeking treatment for meth to 19.1% of all admissions in 2014, surpassing all substances save alcohol. The number of meth-related offenses has also doubled since 2012. But there’s also good news regarding meth coming from the Centennial State: a 2015 survey of high schoolers showed that use is at its lowest level since 1999.

Statistics of that nature are encouraging for the Colorado Meth Project, a non-profit organization affiliated with The Partnership at that provides large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to cut down meth use in its home state. The organization's 2016 data shows that public messaging like its “Not Even Once” campaign is taking root among young people; a phone-only survey found that 81% of teens continue to be aware of the campaign, and eight out of 10 report that they are less likely to try meth as a result of its message.

“Teens who recognize the risks of trying meth are influencing their peers and likely contributing to the declining levels of meth use among Colorado youth,” said Colorado Meth Project executive director Kent MacLennan in a statement to The Fix

Despite the decreased use among teens, meth remains a pervasive and insidious presence among that demographic. The 2016 Colorado Teenage Substance Use & Attitude Assessment reported that 17% of teens believe that meth is easy to get, which represents an 8% increase since similar questioning in 2013.

Additionally, 8% of teens report being offered meth, which is up by 6% since 2013. To that end, the Colorado Meth Project launched the Life or Meth Film Contest, which challenged filmmakers to create a new advertisement that would aid in the fight against the drug. 

As part of National Meth Awareness Week (which took place from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2), the Colorado Meth Project announced that from a group of nearly 120 entries, filmmakers Hudson Bloom and Landon Shimpa of Fort Collins, Colorado, had created the winning film. Their spot, entitled “Siblings,” took home a grand prize of $20,000 and debuted nationally last week.

“It is important that we continue to make teens aware of the dangers of trying meth, and this outstanding commercials depicts the reality of meth, and how it is so destructive,” said MacLennan.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites. 

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