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Attorneys General Participate in Anti-Meth Ad Campaign Launch

From the Office of National Drug Control Policy

State Attorneys General played key roles in the September launch of a new federal methamphetamine advertising campaign to build public awareness about meth prevention and recovery. The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Gil Kerlikowske, launched the 2009 Anti-Meth Campaign, part of the agency’s National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, at a Sept. 1 press conference in St. Louis, Mo. The launch also included roundtable meetings the same day in St. Louis, and Carterville, Ill., with leaders from local law enforcement, criminal justice, and drug prevention and treatment in attendance.

At the St. Louis press conference, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster spoke along with ONDCP Director Kerlikowske, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (MO-03) and Josh Palmer, a recovering meth addict and substance abuse counselor, among others.

Following the St. Louis events, Director Kerlikowske headed to nearby Carterville for an afternoon roundtable discussion hosted by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who convened a group of key members of Illinois law enforcement, and drug prevention and treatment community, to discuss methamphetamine issues in the state. Director Kerlikowske is traveling throughout the country in a “listening tour” with local and state officials to hear more about local drug issues – including meth – as he prepares his office’s drug control strategy over the coming months.

Elsewhere, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto participated in a discussion about methamphetamine use in Nevada at a meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada (ITCN) in Reno. The Attorney General also completed media interviews on behalf of the Anti-Meth Campaign.

The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has coordinated the National Anti-Meth Campaign since 2007. Using national data as a guide, the campaign has reached out to areas and populations hardest hit by meth, through TV, radio, print, and online advertising, as well as news media events. The new 2009 Anti-Meth Campaign focuses on preventing methamphetamine use – and raising awareness about treatment and recovery. The target audience for this campaign is young adults ages 18 to 34, as well as family and friends of someone who may be using meth. This young adult target was specifically chosen because methamphetamine initiation and usage rates are highest in this age group nationwide.

The 2009 Anti-Meth Campaign’s TV, billboard, radio, print, and online ads will run from September to November in states with high methamphetamine use rates, as well as a small group of Midwest states with high levels of reported meth lab seizures and incidents, according to national data. These 16 states are: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Nebraska. Additionally, radio ads and online search ads will run in all states during the same time period.

The campaign also includes an open letter print ad featuring Josh, a meth addict in recovery, with a focus on hope for treatment and recovery for methamphetamine addiction. The National Association of Attorneys General was featured as a signatory, along with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The open letter advertisement ran in daily newspapers, regional issues of news magazines, and trade publications in early September, and it is now available as a free customizable open letter public service announcement (PSA) for state and local government offices and organizations.

In addition to the open letter ad, many of the print ads will be available in December 2009 as free, customizable public service announcements for use by local non-profits, state government offices, and other organizations. The television advertisements, created by Publicis & Hal Riney, the pro bono advertising agency, in coordination with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, will be available as free customizable PSAs in early 2010.

There are also a number of free resources currently available on www.MethResources.gov, including a series of “Life After Meth” posters and targeted ads for the Native American communities (www.MethResources.gov/native_american_campaign.html).

Details about ordering these resources and requesting customization are available on www.MethResources.gov in the “Anti-Meth Campaign” section of the site.

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Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Image of flyer for Anti-Meth Ad Campaign (PDF)
Flyer for Anti-Meth Ad Campaign (PDF)