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Graphic Anti-Meth Ads Aren’t Working

December 12th, 2008 by Alex

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One of the government’s main tactics to warn against hard drug addiction is the use of graphic imagery. The basic rationale is that when the general population gets a good look at a person with eroding teeth and sores all over their face / body, they won’t want to get involved with the substance that caused all that ugliness.

One group in particular, the Montana Meth Project, has taken the graphic approach to a new level with an aggressive print campaign warning against the use of Crystal Meth.

The print campaign shows mostly younger teens and the severe consequences of using crystal meth “just once.”

In the December issue of Prevention Science, an independent review was released saying that the graphic approach might not be working.

After studying the effectiveness of the publicly funded ads for 6 months, multiple negative effects were found:

  • threefold increase in the percentage of teenagers who reported that using meth as not a risky behavior
  • up to 50% of teenagers reported that the graphic ads exaggerate the risks of using meth
  • teenagers were four times more likely to strongly approve of regular meth use
  • teenagers were more likely to report that taking heroin and cocaine is not risky

Not exactly the best way to spend tax dollars right? David Erceg-Hurn, the author of the review, also said that the MMP chose select positive statistics to further promote its efficacy to policymakers.

This is just another example of a huge expenditure in public financing without a tangible result. Sooner or later, the path of the scare tactic will stop making its way into anti-drug materials.

Check out a boatload of MMPs other ads after the jump…

Or, check out the hi-res versions.

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6 Comments

  1. Gravatar-licious
    vidi Says:

    i dont know but this shit sure as hell makes me never wanna do meth. then again i never considered it in the first place


  2. Gravatar-licious
    alexk Says:

    some of the ads are ok, but most of the look as if the makers of after school specials went into ads.
    real stories of how destructive meth is will keep kids away from it, not shitty advertising


  3. Gravatar-licious
    John Says:

    Man I live in Montana and see these advertisements all of the time and from what I’ve gathered of the population here it is not helping in even the slightest bit. All the cops have any time for is chasing down meth related crimes, and in some towns the waste from meth labs hangs around making the air heavy. While these campaigns may not be particularly effective, something has to be done in order to get the numbers down because right now it’s ludicrous just how many kids are doing this nasty stuff. Kids do meth before they even smoke pot up here.


  4. Gravatar-licious

    those ads are creepy. seriously who’s thinking about advertising when they’re about to do meth. there’s very little long term planning in anyone’s life. and advertising isn’t going to solve the problem, other than bottom lines of advertising firms.


  5. Gravatar-licious
    Irma Says:

    Dude..seriously..what kind of retard wants to do meth? I call it natural selection…were they just surveying a bunch of skanks? Man, if everyone would just sit around and smoked a j we probably wouldn’t have this problem.


  6. Gravatar-licious

    Nike free run…

    join us…



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