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"These ads have changed the consciousness of an entire generation of teenagers."
Methamphetamine is a drug that wreaks havoc upon its victims. In Montana, a state previously known for notoriously high rates of meth abuse, the landscape is beginning to change.
In the 2000s, the usage problem intensified, as meth-related arrests jumped 90 percent in the state, with the government there spending $300 million per year to fight the drug's emerging dominance.
With the issue draining state coffers and with the lives of abusers hanging in the balance, Montana decided to target the problem in a unique way: Launching a series of dramatic and explicit advertisements targeted toward teens.
These PSAs, which were created by the privately-funded Montana Meth Project and which began airing back in 2005, have purportedly had a major impact. CBS News has more:
The results have been dramatic - teenage meth use is down 63 percent since the ads started running in 2005 and Montana, which used to rank 5th in the nation for meth abuse, now ranks 39th.
"These ads have changed the consciousness of an entire generation of teenagers," said Cascade County District Attorney John Parker. "The ads don't take a preachy tone. They don't talk down to the kids but they lay out in very graphic very real terms how this can ruin lives."
These ads have now made their way to at least eight other states, where decreases in meth use are also being observed. Below, see a report from CBS that explains the campaign, while sharing the devastating impact that meth has on individuals and communities, alike:
The following "shower" ad is graphic, but it shows the impact that the drug can have on young people:
Then, there's the "just once" spot, which shows the impact that trying the drug only one time can have on an individual's life:
This next video spot shows just how disturbing the ads can get, although proponents claim that it is these starting images that help to prevent usage, while saving lives:
You can find out more about the Montana Meth Project here.
(h/t CBS News)
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