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ARIZONA METH PROJECT Unveils Arizona's Anti-Meth Youth Pledge and Kicks Off Phase Two of Public Awareness Campaign
Date:9/12/2007

PHOENIX, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Arizona's "Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge was revealed today, to mark the kick-off of phase two of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT mass media youth prevention and education campaign featuring hard-hitting television, outdoor and print advertising designed to prevent first-time Meth use. The new campaign elements were introduced alongside the "Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge -- a statewide grassroots effort that captured names and personal commentary from young people across Arizona committing to steer clear of Meth.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070912/LAW156)

"The ARIZONA METH PROJECT is fortunate to have so many community partners like the local anti-meth coalitions and the Boys & Girls Clubs who give young people an opportunity to personally interact with the 'Not Even Once(R)' message -- a message they have been hearing and seeing on television, radio, the Internet, in print and on billboards since April," said Arizona Attorney General Goddard, co-chair of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT Advisory Board. "As the ARIZONA METH PROJECT campaign raises the awareness about the dangers of Meth, I believe Arizona's youth and their parents will take the 'Not Even Once(R)' message very seriously."

Commenting on the project, Maricopa County Supervisor and Advisory Board Co-Chair Don Stapley shared, "From the moment we launched the Pledge, our coalition partners across the state were anxious to carry this manifestation of the "Not Even Once(R)" message into their community so that the conversation about this horrific drug could take place at a very grassroots level. Their enthusiasm, combined with the massive response from young people -- expressed through their personal signatures and comments -- reaffirms to me that phase two of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT is a much-needed effort and that we have only begun to scratch the surface."

Phase two of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT will continue to deliver hard-hitting images that resonate strongly with teens and young adults until the end of the year.

The "Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge collected more than 10,000 signatures from Arizona teens and young adults across the state. Nearly 100 signed Pledges were returned to the ARIZONA METH PROJECT, and connected end-to-end are longer than an NFL regulation football field.

Comments written by Pledge participants included poignant observations and personal experience. One young person wrote, "I have a baby brother that's a crystal-meth-baby. His mother took crystal-meth. I will never take drugs." Another young girl, whose young age is evident by her penmanship and spelling, writes, "Meth is verey (sic) bad for you (sic) body and it can mean deth (sic) to you."

According to the Attorney General's Office, Meth is the number one crime problem in Arizona, with 65 percent of child abuse cases and approximately 75 percent of property and violent crimes linked to Meth use. According to a recent baseline survey administered statewide prior to the launch of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT, one in six young adults and one in 25 teens report having used the drug. "We see the escalating Meth use in our community as a real crisis," said Navajo Nation First Lady Vikki Shirley, who also co-chairs the ARIZONA METH PROJECT Advisory Board.

On the national front, the Meth Project-the originators of the Montana Meth Project-is beginning the third year of its education and awareness effort. "We've made tremendous strides in just two short years. Workplace drug testing data shows Meth use has declined 70 percent in Montana and Meth-related crime has declined 53 percent since the Meth Project launched," said Nitsa Zuppas, executive director of the Meth Project.

To see phase two advertising or for more information about the "Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge and research about Meth use among young people in Arizona, visit http://www.arizonamethproject.org.


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SOURCE ARIZONA METH PROJECT
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