Survey finds graphic ads reducing first-time meth use among young - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Survey finds graphic ads reducing first-time meth use among young people

Jade Goin Jade Goin
Cindy Adams Cindy Adams

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One year after launching its graphic anti-ice education campaign, the Hawaii Meth Project is back with a new wave of TV spots. While a national study a few years back found Hawaii ranked fifth in the country for meth use by people 12 years of age and older, a recent survey indicates the project's ads may be turning the tide.

You've probably seen the first set of TV spots involving a bleeding girl in the shower and a violent guy at a laundromat. The second wave of ads unveiled Monday is just as powerful.

There's no sugar-coating it. The new, hard-hitting TV spots are designed to discourage teens and young adults from trying meth even once.

"People need to know that those ads are not exaggerated," Jade Goin, former meth addict, said. "It can get that bad."

Goin would know. She's recovering from a nearly seven-year ice habit, beginning when she was 12 years old.

"I got hooked the first hit," she said.

The Meth Project came to Hawaii a year ago. Its studies now show the ads, which detail the physical, mental and financial consequences of meth use, are having an impact.

Of the 1,035 Hawaii teens who responded to a recent survey, 86% said they are less likely to try the drug because of the ads. Eighty-one percent of the 372 young adults surveyed agreed.

"If you continue to use this drug, this is exactly the direction your life will move in," Cindy Adams, Hawaii Meth Project, said about the ads. "I think kids appreciate that because they like when people are very direct with them and they like when people are very real because kids can tell."

Fifty-four percent of teens and 67% of young adults surveyed said they now see great risk in doing meth even once or twice. Both figures jumped 10 percentage points from the project's survey a year ago.

"It was very, very encouraging to see such very significant and dramatic changes in terms of teen and young adult attitudes towards meth," Adams said.

It appears ice use is becoming more and more socially unacceptable. Sixty-seven percent of teens and 82% of young adults said their friends would disapprove of them using the drug. Those figures are also up.

"It's the biggest mistake I've ever made," Goin said. "I feel like there's really nothing I can do to fix the things that I've done to hurt my family."

The education campaign also includes radio, Internet and print ads.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly