Anti-meth coalition launches awareness campaign
Apr 11,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
Process will measure the impact of multifaceted media, outreach programs
 
Bend, Oregon -- The Meth Action Coalition (MAC) announced yesterday the launch of the first phase in a countywide meth awareness campaign -- a survey of 12-24 year olds and parents of teens, age 12-19.  The anonymous survey will provide baseline data on current understanding, perceptions and attitudes about meth and its "gateway" drugs. alcohol and marijuana.  Youth and parents are the primary focus of community prevention efforts. 
 
The awareness survey is available online through the organization’s website at www.methaction.org and in printed form at various community agencies.
 
On April 24, the MAC will begin an aggressive awareness program with a 16-page insert in the daily newspaper, followed by radio, TV, print and billboard ads supported by the organization’s direct outreach to students, parents, employers and neighborhood associations.  At the end of the media campaign, the MAC will repeat the survey. 
 
Statistical analysis of both surveys will be conducted by the University of Oregon under the direction of Dr. Christopher Wolsko.  The results will assess the impact of the media campaign on increasing meth awareness among young people and parents.   
 
The research-based campaign is similar to the acclaimed Montana Meth Project (MMP).  “The additional component we add to our campaign is direct outreach,” said MAC Co-Chair, Bruce Abernethy.  “By providing face-to-face presentations, we can fill in the details of the ad messages.  Just as importantly, it gives us a forum to listen and learn from those most vulnerable to meth use.” 
 
To support the campaign, the MAC will hold Meth Summit III on June 18th at The Riverhouse Conference Center.  The day-long program will provide speakers and forums that address prevention, law enforcement, drug-free workplace initiatives, and treatment.  Attendees will participate in the process of developing recommendations for local policymakers.
 
Meth use among Deschutes County teens entering treatment for alcohol or drug treatment has doubled over the past seven years and increased 30% among adults entering treatment. 
 
About the Meth Action Coalition:
The Meth Action Coalition (MAC) is a nonprofit, community-based organization spearheading efforts to reverse the devastating impact of meth in Deschutes County.  The MAC brings together community agencies, law enforcement, treatment professionals, businesses, social organizations, and individuals.  The MAC advances programs aimed at reducing meth, alcohol, marijuana and other substance abuse.   Visit www.methaction.org for more information.