According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamines (more specifically, street meth) have become one of the greatest threats in the United States. Reports indicate meth is more available, more potent and more inexpensive than ever and it is quickly becoming a health epidemic.
The negative effects of meth are far-reaching, costing the U.S. as much as $45 billion every year in substance abuse treatment, healthcare, crime, incarceration and an overall loss of productivity. While adults generally make up the more than one million meth addicts in American, more and more teens are becoming addicted to this devastating drug.
The Meth Project is one of the many large-scale meth addiction prevention programs striving to make a difference in this crucial area of the American landscape. The Meth Project is committed to reducing methamphetamine abuse through public service messages, public policies, and community outreach. Their Web site provides interactive educational tools, news updates and provides cold hard facts about what this drug is capable of. While The Meth project mainly focuses their campaign on teen meth abusers, it has become a viable resource for adults seeking recovery from meth addiction.
The Meth Project was founded by businessman Thomas M. Siebel in 2005. It began as a private-sector response to a critical public health issue happening in Montana at the time, made possible by a grant from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation. In 2005, Montana was overwhelmed by methamphetamine abuse, ranking fifth in the nation for meth addiction. More than half of all inmates were incarcerated in Montana prisons for meth-related offenses and half of all foster care admissions happened as the result of meth addiction. These startling statistics called Siebel to action, creating The Meth Project to lead the nation in meth treatment and prevention.
Since 2005, The Meth Project has sustained a large-scale, statewide prevention campaign in eight states with more than 268,000 television advertisements, 300,900 radio ads, 9.3 million print impressions, 10,800 billboards and 696 million online impressions. Now, thanks to Siebel’s ongoing work and financial support, there are official Meth Project organizations also located in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho Meth, Illinois and Wyoming.
The Meth Project messages have made their mark and have been highly acclaimed for causing significant declines in teen meth use in a number of states. Since the project's launch, teen meth abuse has reportedly declined 65 percent in Arizona, 63 percent in Montana and 52 percent in Idaho.
The White House has named the initiative one of the most effective prevention programs in the country and has recommend it as a model for the entire nation to emulate. The Meth Project was also named the third most effective philanthropy in the world by Barron's in its latest global ranking of philanthropic organizations and has received more than 50 other prestigious awards.
The Meth Project uses graphic photos, videos, interactive demonstrations, animations and image galleries on its Web site to raise awareness. Much of their content is graphic in nature, showing the dark side of meth use through shocking imagery. There are also polls and quizzes, personal stories from users, advice from friends and family members of meth addicts, and first-hand accounts from experts to educate the public about the dangers of meth abuse.
If you or someone you know has a problem with meth, help is possible and available. Check out The Meth Project Web site here. Coming face to face with the reality of meth addiction can be your first step to finding healing for yourself, or help for someone you know.