Eye On Boise

Meth Project cites success; Guv wants another half-mil in state funds for it next year

First Lady Lori Otter announces the launch of new ads for the Idaho Meth Project. The drug-prevention project is claiming some success based on recent poll results; while privately funded, it's received $1.5 million from the state in the past two years and Gov. Butch Otter is proposing another half-million next year. (Betsy Russell)
First Lady Lori Otter announces the launch of new ads for the Idaho Meth Project. The drug-prevention project is claiming some success based on recent poll results; while privately funded, it's received $1.5 million from the state in the past two years and Gov. Butch Otter is proposing another half-million next year. (Betsy Russell)

The Idaho Meth Project released poll results today showing it's making progress toward its top goal - convincing Idaho teens and young people that it's dangerous to try methamphetamine even once. In the project's latest survey, 66 percent of teens and 78 percent of young adults in Idaho said they believe there is "great risk" in using the drug just once or twice. That's up from 55 and 68 percent in 2007, when the project began. "We consider this to be very significant progress," said Megan Ronk, the project's executive director. The full poll is online here.

The project is a privately funded effort, but the state has poured $1.5 million into it since it started two years ago. In the current year, the project is getting $500,000 from the state's Millenium Fund; last year it got $1 million. Next year, Gov. Butch Otter is proposing $500,000 more for the Meth Project from the Millenium Fund. The project has sponsored graphic TV and radio commercials and billboards designed to alarm teens about the dangers of meth; a new, third wave of ads launches today. First Lady Lori Otter, a member of the project's board and also a member of the National Meth Project Foundation board, said, "This is a saturation-level advertising campaign that is specifically designed to reach teens and young adults at the places they frequent." The first lady joined several teen volunteers for the project to unveil the new ads today; Gov. Butch Otter watched from the audience.




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Betsy Z. Russell





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