Meth Project rolls into Central High

John Suthers

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers will be on hand Monday in Grand Junction as officials launch a new wave of advertising warning teenagers against the use of methamphetamine.

The nonprofit Colorado Meth Project, which marks its first anniversary this month, also will release findings from a statewide survey aimed at gauging young peoples’ attitudes on the use of the drug.

Suthers, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey and Kent MacLennan, executive director of the state’s Meth Project, are scheduled to attend an event at 10 a.m. Monday in Central High School’s auditorium.

“Grand Junction’s been a real local leader in terms of its effort to combat meth,” said MacLennan, a Broomfield resident. “And I think they’re certainly seeing results.”

MacLennan said the new survey, which includes data from 600 teenagers sampled across Colorado over several weeks in March, may surprise with its results.

“Change for the good,” MacLennan said, declining to talk in specifics before Monday’s event.

The group’s initial study, Colorado’s Meth Use and Attitudes Survey released in May 2009, found one in three young people, ages 18 to 24, said meth was “somewhat” or “very easy” to acquire. Roughly the same number said they had been offered the drug.

A sampling of 12- to 24-year-olds found the majority believed there were few benefits to meth use, but a sizeable number said they saw positive results, such as weight loss.

“On Monday, we’ll have the first real comparison on progress made in the last year,” Mac-Lennan said.

A new wave of the group’s graphic “Not Even Once” commercial spots also will hit statewide television and radio starting Monday, MacLennan said. The group has an annual budget of $4.5 million for the commercials, which includes roughly $2 million worth of donated time by various media outlets, he said.


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