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Posts tagged: idaho meth project

Idaho Meth Project names new director

The Idaho Meth Project has hired a new executive director, Adrean Cavener, the former director of government relations in Idaho for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The Meth Project, which got just over a quarter-million in funding from Idaho’s Millenium Fund this year but otherwise operates on private donations and federal grant funds, works to prevent meth use, particularly among youth.

Cavener said while rates of meth use have been declining, large amounts of the drug still are coming into Idaho. “We still have about 500 pounds of meth being trafficked through Idaho every month, which is alarming, because 2 grams, about the size of a sugar packet, is 25 hits of meth to a new meth user,” she said.

The Meth Project, known for its graphic ad campaigns, has been focusing on reaching teens through social media including Pandora, Instagram and Facebook, and also has lots of billboards in the works, Cavener said. She replaces Gina Heideman, who was with the Meth Project for just over five years and who left a month ago.

First Lady Lori Otter, a booster of the Meth Project, said, “We know that meth use comes with enormous costs, both in the state budget, but more devastatingly to the living rooms of Idaho families. We look forward to the passion and knowledge Adrean will bring to the Idaho Meth Project.”

Commerce Dept. names Ronk as PIO, Gilliam as economic development chief

Megan Ronk, executive director of the Idaho Meth Project for the past five years, is the new public information officer for the Idaho Department of Commerce, Director Jeff Sayer announced today; he said she'll “play a key role in developing branding, marketing and communications strategies for the department.” Click below for the full Commerce announcement, and also for the department's announcement that it's named a new chief economic development officer: Gynii Gilliam, who most recently was executive director of Bannock Development Corp. in Pocatello. Sayer said Gilliam will “lead the agency's economic development team and will be responsible for creating economic growth, across all industry sectors, for the state of Idaho.”

Otter, first lady kick off next phase of Idaho Meth Project

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter attended Brian Barber's health class at Boise High School this morning, with classes from four other high schools around the state watching online, to kick off the next phase of the Idaho Meth Project. The public-private anti-drug program is launching a new interactive teen website and advertising in eight states including Idaho, along with mobile and social media campaigns aimed at educating teens about the dangers of methamphetamine use.

Otter asked the Boise High kids, mostly sophomores and juniors with a sprinkling of seniors, “How many of you have heard about the meth project?” Most raised their hands. “That's encouraging,” he declared. Lori Otter told the kids the new website, MethProject.org, is “a resource you can go to that is factual, that lays it out, that does not sugar-coat it.” She said, “You are being presented with a valuable tool to help you and your friends make good choices in life.”

The students were receptive; some said they want to volunteer to help with the campaign. Like earlier Meth Project ads, the new TV commercials feature actors presenting shocking scenarios to illustrate the dangers of meth, while the radio ads and website rely more on actual teens' testimonials and experiences with the drug. The latest TV ads are directed by Darren Aronofsky, director of the movies “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler.” The website has games and activities centered on meth dangers, from a mugshot-match game to show how meth users' appearances change to an Operation-style activity showing the effect of the drug on different parts of the body, along with a place where teens can post their own art, poems, stories or other messages with an anti-meth theme.

This is the first time the project has launched a major campaign, including TV, radio, print, billboards and online advertising, in all eight states at once; the eight are Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Montana and Wyoming.

Researcher: Meth decline not linked to ad campaign in Montana

A new study concludes that a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to deter youths from trying methamphetamines has failed to speed up a long-standing decline in the drug’s use, the Associated Press reports. Economics researcher D. Mark Anderson of the University of Washington said Tuesday that abuse of the drug already was on the decline because of more aggressive law enforcement before the high-profile Montana Meth Project began in 2005. Identical programs have since been launched in seven other states: Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Wyoming, Colorado, Hawaii and Georgia; click below for a full report from AP reporter Matthew Brown.

Survey: Idaho teen meth use drops by half

A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows teen meth use in Idaho dropped by 52 percent from 2007 to 2009, from 6.4 percent of teens using the drug to 3.1 percent. It was the largest decline of any state during that time period; meanwhile, the national rate of teen meth use dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.1 percent. “These numbers are extremely encouraging,” said Gov. Butch Otter. “They clearly demonstrate that Idaho’s integrated approach to addressing our methamphetamine problem is having an impact.” Click below for his full news release.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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