Montana Meth Project: Has It Curbed Teen Meth Use?December 18, 2019 - The Recovery Village
The Montana Meth Project is a unique and large-scale undertaking that aims to prevent teens from using meth for the first time. The Montana Meth Project seeks to achieve this through a combination of public service announcements and messages, public policy, and outreach in the community.
One of the key resources people can turn to is also the MethProject.org, which provides a great deal of research and information that could be relevant to teens and their parents.
The Costs of Meth
The mission of the Montana Meth Project, which was started by Thomas M. Siebel, is to create an effective prevention model for drug abuse that can be replicated nationwide. Sibel had a history in the business world, so he wanted to approach the prevention of meth use in a private-sector way.
As the name indicates, the Montana Meth Project was started in the state of Montana, which is among the top states in the U.S. in terms of per capita treatment admissions for methamphetamine. Some of the social costs cited by the Montana Meth Project include the fact that 53 percent of children in the state in foster care are there because of meth, and 20 percent of adults in treatment are there because of the drug. The project also highlights the fact that half of the adults in prison are there because of a crime related to meth.
The project has been cited by the White House because of its effectiveness and also because it stands to be a model for the rest of the country.
How Effective is the Montana Meth Project?
So, has it curbed teen meth use?
According to the group behind the Meth Project, they have been credited with helping produce significant declines in the use of the drug, and they were named by Barron’s as the third most effective philanthropy in the world.
According to research, since the introduction of the Project, teen meth use has gone down 63 percent in Montana and 56 percent in Idaho. It’s also gone down 65 percent in Arizona, which are states where the Project has a presence.
According to the Meth Project and data from resources like the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Montana now ranks number 39 in the country for meth abuse, and along with teen meth use declining by 63 percent, the project says adult meth use has declined by an even more impressive 72 percent, and crimes related to meth have gone down by 62 percent.
There are also affiliates now located in six states which include Colorado, Georgia, and Wyoming as well as the states named above.
While the project started out with private funding, after it experienced what was viewed as some success, legislators in Montana decided to contribute public funding as well. However, that did create some controversy, because opponents of the Montana Meth Project feel that media campaigns aren’t necessarily effective, and the results of studies showing the success of the work of the Meth Project weren’t well-proven.
The Montana Meth Project uses an approach that they describe as “research-based messaging campaigns.” To do this, they conduct surveys and focus groups that show them what people think and feel about meth, and they then drive their messaging forward with that research.
The project has been in place since 2005, and the overall objective is to provide education to teens on an early and often basis.
MethProject.org was put in place to provide a multimedia experience that answers the questions teens most often have about meth and its effects. MethProject.org then builds on what’s available on the website through TV, radio and print ads, as well as digital and social campaigns.