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Survey: Georgia Teens More Aware of Meth Dangers

New study shows that an advertising campaign affects the perception of risks associated with using methamphetamine.

A new survey shows Georgia teens are more aware of the dangers of trying methamphetamine and have increasingly told friends not to use the drug.

According to the 2011 Georgia Meth Use and Attitudes Survey, 52 percent of teens (up 11 points from the benchmark survey of 2010) now believe there is “great risk” in using methamphetamine even just once or twice.

The survey shows teens also see fewer benefits from methamphetamine usage. Teens increasingly disagreed that use of the drug would help them escape their problems, give them energy, help them deal with boredom, make them feel happy or help them lose weight.

The findings indicated the Georgia Meth Project campaign was effective in raising awareness of the dangers of methamphetamine use. Eighty-seven percent of teens said the ads show meth is dangerous to try and 85 percent said the ads show meth is more dangerous than they originally thought.

“Last year, public and private sector leaders resolved to take serious steps to address Georgia’s methamphetamine problem, which costs this state more than $1.3 billion each year,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in a released statement. “It was determined that a statewide prevention campaign to reduce demand must be a top priority. The result was the launch of the Georgia Meth Project. This research shows, that thanks to these efforts, we have made significant progress. Our young people are beginning to understand how dangerous this drug is and report they are less likely to try methamphetamine.”

The Georgia Meth Project is a non-profit organization that utilizes advertising and community programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state.

Neil Kaltenecker, Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, said the survey results show significant progress has been made.

“But we need to stay focused,” Kaltenecker said. “Too many teens are still at risk—one in 10 say someone has tried to get them to use Meth. Through this effective prevention campaign, coupled with access to quality treatment and recovery support, we will continue to have a positive impact on Georgia's communities."

The Georgia Meth Project has provided a sneak preview of its next statewide media campaign that includes television commercials, radio spots and print ads. The campaign can be previewed on Georgia Meth Project’s Facebook page atwww.Facebook.com/GeorgiaMethProject.

For more information about the survey report, visitwww.GeorgiaMethProject.org/Research.

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