Navigation Links
Success of anti-meth ads questioned by study

Washington, DC, December 11, 2008-- An independent review investigating the effectiveness of a publicly funded graphic anti-methamphetamine advertising campaign has found that the campaign has been associated with many negative outcomes. The review was published in the December issue of Prevention Science, a peer reviewed journal of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

The Montana Meth Project (MMP) was created in 2005 to reduce methamphetamine use in Montana via graphic advertising showing extreme consequences of using meth "just once." Initially the ad campaign was privately funded, but it has since received millions of dollars in state and federal support as the MMP has promoted the ad campaign as a resounding success to policy makers and the media. Based on the apparent success of the ad campaign in Montana, it has since been implemented in other states including Arizona, Idaho, and Illinois, with more states to follow.

The negative outcomes identified in the review include: following six months exposure to the MMP's graphic ads, there was a threefold increase in the percentage of teenagers who reported that using meth is not a risky behaviour; teenagers were four times more likely to strongly approve of regular meth use; teenagers were more likely to report that taking heroin and cocaine is not risky; and up to 50% of teenagers reported that the graphic ads exaggerate the risks of using meth.

The review found that the MMP overlooked these unflattering results when promoting their research findings to policymakers and the media. Instead, the MMP focused on select positive findings.

The author of the review, David Erceg-Hurn, who is currently completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Western Australia, came across the Meth Project while conducting research on graphic tobacco advertising. There was a mention of the Meth Project in an article he read. Erceg-Hurn followed up on that mention and closely scrutinized the Meth Project's research reports. He said that it is important for organizations that are funding or considering funding the MMP's ad campaign to be made aware of all of the MMP's findings - positive and negative. To date, this has not happened.

Erceg-Hurn also criticized claims that the ad campaign has been responsible for reducing meth use in Montana. "Meth use had been declining for at least six years before the ad campaign commenced, which suggests that factors other than the graphic ads cause reductions in meth use. Another issue is that the launch of the ad campaign coincided with restrictions on the sale of cold and flu medicines commonly used in the production of meth. This means that drug use could be declining due to decreased production of meth, rather than being the result of the ad campaign."

Erceg-Hurn also pointed out in his review that due to the way the MMP has conducted their research, it is impossible to conclude that the ad campaign had any effect on meth use. To draw such conclusions would require much more rigorous research. This would involve examining two groups of teenagers that were equivalent in terms of drug use, exposing only one group to the graphic ads, and then examining any differences between the groups in their drug use.

The theory underlying the MMP's ad campaign was also criticized by Erceg-Hurn. "The idea behind the ad campaign is that teenagers take meth because they believe it is socially acceptable, and not risky - and the ads are meant to alter these perceptions. However, this theory is flawed because the Meth Project's own data shows that 98% of teenagers strongly disapproved of meth use and 97% thought using meth was risky before the campaign started."

The review also points out that considerable prior research has found that large anti-drug advertising campaigns can be ineffective and sometimes harmful. For example, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has cost taxpayers over $1.5 billion since 1998. A Government Accountability Office report found that the ad campaign has not reduced drug use. The only significant results were in an unfavorable direction - some youths reported an increase in marijuana use upon increased exposure to the campaign.

Erceg-Hurn concluded in his Prevention Science review that based on current evidence, continued public funding and rollout of Montana-style anti-methamphetamine graphic ad campaign programs is inadvisable.


Contact: David Erceg-Hurn
Society for Prevention Research

Related medicine news :

1. Research Shows Successful Physician Engagement in LifeMasters Disease Management Programs
2. Hawaii Eye Surgeon Receives Small Business Success Award
3. MonoSol Rx Successfully Completes Pivotal Bioequivalence Studies for Ondansetron Thin Film NDA
4. The Ensign Group Successfully Graduates Second Nursing Home From CMS Special Focus Program
5. Plastic Surgery Journal Shows New Groundbreaking Genital Cosmetic Procedure for Women to be Successful
6. MEDRAD Builds on Success of P3T Cardiac CT Injection Software
7. Gentiva Health Services Confirms Management Succession
8. Brim Healthcare and Broadlane Continue Successful, Exclusive Relationship
9. As Chairman Baucus Outlines Vision for Healthcare Reform, NACDS Emphasizes Pharmacy's Essential Role in Any Successful Overhaul
10. PARI Pharma Completes Successful Clinical Trials for Tobramycin 100 & Investigational eFlow for CF
11. Research Identifies Predictors for Successful IVF
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... According ... Vinci surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for ... da Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Boca Raton, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... on-site diagnostic testing for physicians and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics ... the importance of testing young athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... a double board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical ... of The Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the ... inventor, from Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable ... PROTECTOR. , The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... "When I underwent breast reconstruction following ... uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order to meet my own ... BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is easier to put on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, ... optimizing treatment outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, ... for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts ... two companies. --> --> ... all of its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, ... trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product ... metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 million in ... week trial and three days of deliberations, the ... was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., ... services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, ... Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which ... array of open solutions designed to help any practice ... Click here for a schedule of experts appearing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: