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Great Resource – Colorado Meth Project

January 23, 2012

Mark Rangel shares great resource for parents and educators

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Jonathan Judge - Colorado Meth Project

At our Monthly Parent Community Involvement Committee meeting held on January 18th 2012. We had the great opportunity to have Jonathan Judge – Program Manager for the Colorado Meth Project present information on current trends in Colorado.

Presentation topics/questions that were addressed:

  • What is Meth? What does it look like, how is it used, where does it come from? What are warning signs that Meth is being produced and/or trafficked in local communities?
  • How does Meth affect users? What are warning signs that someone is using? What does Meth do to the human body? What does Meth do to the brain?
  • How does Meth affect the wider community?
  • What is the current Meth problem in Colorado? In Morgan County?
  • What is unique about the teenage brain the makes it especially vulnerable to substance abuse?
  • What can we do to help prevent teenage substance abuse?

Below is information provided by Jonathan and the Colorado Meth Project taken from their website:

www.coloradomethproject.org

The Problem

The Colorado Meth Project was launched as a response to the state’s critical methamphetamine problem. Meth use in Colorado is considerably higher than the national average, and according to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is a primary drug threat to Colorado.1

  • Colorado’s Front Range task force estimates methamphetamine availability in 2010 has increased 300 percent over 2009.2
  • The annual cost to the state is estimated at $1.4 billion, including costs to the criminal justice, health and foster care systems, as well as lost productivity.3
  • Colorado ranks #7 in the country for total Meth users 12 and older.4
  • 76% of all Colorado Meth users entering treatment in 2010 reported first using Meth before age 25, and 43% started at 17 or younger.5
  • 32% of all drug related offenses in Colorado in 2007 were Meth-related, 56% higher than the national average.6
  • Colorado ranks #6 in the U.S. for per capita identity theft7 and law enforcement sources indicate that Meth addiction is responsible for almost two-thirds of identity theft crimes in Colorado.8

The Campaign

In May 2009, Governor Bill Ritter and Attorney General John Suthers officially launched the Colorado Meth Project’s statewide advertising campaign, including TV, radio, print, online, outdoor, and grassroots community outreach campaign. The campaign has included:

  • 21,000 TV ads
  • 33,000 Radio ads
  • 708 Billboards
  • 220,000,000 Online Impressions

The Impact

Since its inception in Colorado, the Meth Project’s prevention program has demonstrated significant results in changing teen attitudes about Meth. According to the 2011 Colorado Meth Use & Attitude Survey9:

  • 88% of Colorado teens now see “great risk” in trying Meth once or twice, up 9 points from the 2009 benchmark
  • 88% reported that the Colorado Meth Project ads made them less likely to try or use the drug
  • Eight in ten teens agree their friends would give them a hard time if they, themselves, were to use Meth (82%, up 6 points from 76% in the 2009 benchmark)

Since the launch of the campaign in May 2009, the program has touched a significant number of Colorado young people:

  • 97% of Colorado’s estimated 400,000 teens have seen a Colorado Meth Project advertisement, with 67% reporting that they have seen the ads at least once a week10
  • The organization has conducted more than 200 school and community presentations directly reaching more than 25,000 teens and young adults
  • More than 500,000 Coloradans have been exposed to the Colorado Meth Project’s outreach campaign through events large and small
  • More than 1,100 Coloradans have signed up to volunteer for the organization, with 95 committed individuals who are currently active

I would like to thank Jonathan for his willingness to share his expertise with our families. If you would like to contact Jonathan Judge please e-mail him at jonathan@coloradomethproject.org

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