The Meth Project aims to increase teen awareness of the real harm the drug causes the brain and body. “We wanted to show the stark reality of methamphetamine use,” said Nitsa Zuppas, executive director of the Siebel Foundation, which funds the Meth Project. “We know that if teens understand the risks, usage will decline.” Since the Meth Project launched in 2006, meth use has declined 65 percent in Arizona, 63 percent in Montana and 52 percent in Idaho. The decreases are largely credited to the Project’s intense TV and radio ads.
Other celebrities who have teamed with the Project include Wally Pfister, director of photography for “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who directed “Babel” and “21 Grams,” and Tony Kaye, who directed “American History X.” Hollywood wants to use its reach and vision to raise awareness in an under-scrutinized area. “Every year we have this huge list of people who want to do this work,” said Zuppas. “They all care so deeply and passionately about the work, and you can see it in the result.”
Meth is a terribly addictive and disgusting drug. Meth is, in fact, more addictive than most hard drugs. One in four people who try meth will become addicted. Not only is meth one of the most addictive drugs it is also one of the most damaging to the body. When you see pictures of meth users over time it looks like they have had cancer. Meth ages the body and the mind rapidly. Use can lead to hallucinations, delusions, and violence. Users engage in crime which destroys not just them but their communities. Adults and treatment providers know the seriousness of use, but many teens do not understand. Most teens do not class this drug at the same level as crack or heroin.
The Meth Project believes there is a very close link between the perception of harm and the use of a drug. A public health message that conveys the dangers of a drug is most effective. Due to teens’ understanding of the dangers of crack, heroin, and cigarettes, the use of those chemicals is lessened. The Project hopes to do the same for methamphetamine and seems to be making a great difference so far.