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ARIZONA METH PROJECT Unveils Arizona's Anti-Meth Youth Pledge and Kicks Off Phase Two of Public Awareness Campaign

Thursday, September 13, 2007 General News J E 4
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PHOENIX, Sept. 12 Arizona's "Not Even Once(R)" YouthPledge was revealed today, to mark the kick-off of phase two of the ARIZONAMETH PROJECT mass media youth prevention and education campaign featuringhard-hitting television, outdoor and print advertising designed to preventfirst-time Meth use. The new campaign elements were introduced alongside the"Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge -- a statewide grassroots effort that capturednames and personal commentary from young people across Arizona committing tosteer clear of Meth.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070912/LAW156)

"The ARIZONA METH PROJECT is fortunate to have so many community partnerslike the local anti-meth coalitions and the Boys & Girls Clubs who give youngpeople an opportunity to personally interact with the 'Not Even Once(R)'message -- a message they have been hearing and seeing on television, radio,the Internet, in print and on billboards since April," said Arizona AttorneyGeneral Goddard, co-chair of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT Advisory Board. "As theARIZONA METH PROJECT campaign raises the awareness about the dangers of Meth,I believe Arizona's youth and their parents will take the 'Not Even Once(R)'message very seriously."

Commenting on the project, Maricopa County Supervisor and Advisory BoardCo-Chair Don Stapley shared, "From the moment we launched the Pledge, ourcoalition partners across the state were anxious to carry this manifestationof the "Not Even Once(R)" message into their community so that theconversation about this horrific drug could take place at a very grassrootslevel. Their enthusiasm, combined with the massive response from youngpeople -- expressed through their personal signatures and comments --reaffirms to me that phase two of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT is a much-neededeffort and that we have only begun to scratch the surface."

Phase two of the ARIZONA METH PROJECT will continue to deliverhard-hitting images that resonate strongly with teens and young adults untilthe end of the year.

The "Not Even Once(R)" Youth Pledge collected more than 10,000 signaturesfrom Arizona teens and young adults across the state. Nearly 100 signedPledges were returned to the ARIZONA METH PROJECT, and connected end-to-endare longer than an NFL regulation football field.

Comments written by Pledge participants included poignant observations andpersonal experience. One young person wrote, "I have a baby brother that's acrystal-meth-baby. His mother took crystal-meth. I will never take drugs."Another young girl, whose young age is evident by her penmanship and spelling,writes, "Meth is verey (sic) bad for you (sic) body and it can mean deth (sic)to you."

According to the Attorney General's Office, Meth is the number one crimeproblem in Arizona, with 65 percent of child abuse cases and approximately 75percent of property and violent crimes linked to Meth use. According to arecent baseline survey administered statewide prior to the launch of theARIZONA METH PROJECT, one in six young adults and one in 25 teens reporthaving used the drug. "We see the escalating Meth use in our community as areal crisis," said Navajo Nation First Lady Vikki Shirley, who also co-chairsthe ARIZONA METH PROJECT Advisory Board.

On the national front, the Meth Project-the originators of the MontanaMeth Project-is beginning the third year of its education and awarenesseffort. "We've made tremendous strides in just two short years. Workplacedrug testing data shows Meth use has declined 70 percent in Montana andMeth-related crime has declined 53 percent since the Meth Project launched,"said Nitsa Zuppas, executive director of the Meth Project.

To see phase two advertising or for more information about the "Not EvenOnce(R)" Youth Pledge and research about Meth use among young people inArizona, visit http://www.arizonamethproject.org.

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