SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 17 The CaliforniaDepartment of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) today unveiled a new mediacampaign to fight methamphetamine use in the gay, bisexual, and other men whohave sex with men (G/B/MSM) communities.
"Methamphetamine use is a problem in California and we are committed todoing all we can to address it," said Renee Zito, Director of ADP. "We believethat targeting messages about meth use in the communities it affects canimprove the lives of Californians."
The $11 million "Me Not Meth" campaign includes television, outdoor andprint advertisements designed to curb methamphetamine use by highlightingpersonal losses.
The campaign is being launched as research and data suggest thatmethamphetamine use and abuse has significant negative public health effectsamong gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men. A survey by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention found that methamphetamine use wasmore common in men infected with HIV. The odds for becoming infected with HIVdouble or triple for MSM who use methamphetamine compared to those who do not.
Outdoor advertising began this week and television ads will begin airingon March 17 and will continue for 12 weeks. The advertisements were developedby GMMB and Better World Advertising, and the television spot was directed byaward-winning director Joel Schumacher.
With the launch of the campaign, ADP also announced the results of astatewide survey of Californians' perceptions of methamphetamine use andabuse. The survey showed that:
"Sadly, the study findings do not surprise me," said Cathy Reback, Ph.D.,research sociologist at the Friends Research Institute, Inc., and the UCLAIntegrated Substance Abuse Programs. "I have been working in the field ofresearch and treatment with a focus on providing resources for gay andbisexual men for the past 13 years. Methamphetamine use, particularly theassociation between methamphetamine use and HIV infection, is a serious publichealth concern in California."
The benchmark survey data was collected via telephone among ageographically stratified representative sample (1,215) of households in thestate of California and an online survey of 549 recruited gay and bisexualmen.
The media campaign was tested extensively among the target audiencethrough formative message testing focus groups, quantitative advertisementtesting, and one-on-one interviews. Research found that a personal appeal fromsomeone who has lost important things in his life is the most persuasive wayto engage the G/B/MSM community. Those in need are directed to visit thecampaign's Web site http://www.MeNotMeth.org or call the state's toll-freehotline 1-866-STP-METH (866-787-6924).
The campaign is part of the California Methamphetamine Initiative (CMI),which is designed to reduce the use and abuse of methamphetamine in the state.The CMI includes a public information and education campaign, educationalmaterials such as a tool kit and DVD, as well as funding for preventionprograms. Working closely with other state organizations, the CMI was designedto complement existing anti-methamphetamine efforts in California.
Funding for the first year of the methamphetamine campaign was authorizedin fiscal year 2006-07.
Both the survey results and the advertisements can be viewed in full athttp://www.menotmeth.org.
Jackie Quintanilla (323) 202-1053-- 71 percent of G/B/MSM surveyed say that they have been asked to try methamphetamine -- More than half of G/B/MSM surveyed (55 percent) reported using methamphetamine in their lifetime -- 54 percent of G/B/MSM respondents have a close friend who uses methamphetamine
SOURCE The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs