Montana Ad Blitz Busts Meth Use

'Unselling the product' leads to 70% drop among adults, 45% in teens
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2008 1:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – In 2005, Montana had the fifth-worst methamphetamine problem in the US; now it’s 39th, and negative advertising is to credit for much of the stunning turnaround. Montana’s nonprofit Meth Project launched a massive blitz against the drug, blanketing airwaves, websites, newspapers, and billboards. “The intention is to treat meth like a consumer product,” said one backer.

As a result, meth use dropped 45% among state teens, and 70% among adults, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Of course, advertising wasn’t the sole factor. Nationwide, meth use dropped 22% in the US, thanks to new enforcement philosophies—instead of targeting individual criminals, federal authorities now try to systematically wipe out supply chains.