Suthers: State winning war on meth

“I’m going to try meth just once. I’m not going to be like that guy.”

That’s the tag line to television and radio ads that have aired for some months, warning young people about the perils of using methamphetamine.

The in-your-face anti-meth message is about to enter a new phase, said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who was in town Monday to announce the new ad campaign.

Suthers and other state leaders took the Colorado Meth Project, their war against the use and manufacture of the dangerous drug, to the airwaves about a year ago. The attorney general said the message is starting to pay off.

“You have probably seen the televisions ads, the billboards on the highways,” the attorney general told The Daily Sentinel editorial board. “The whole approach is to raise the notion of the risk of the drug, and to deter their first use. Other states that are farther along than us have had great success.”

Based on a similar campaign in Montana, the message has shown good results in Colorado, said Ken MacLennan, executive director of the project.

A year ago, 79 percent of Colorado youth saw the drug as a great risk. The figure is up to 88 percent, according to a project survey. At the same time, 94 percent of teens said they have seen the ads and have a better understanding of the dangers of the drug. As a result, 89 percent said they were less likely to use it.

The new campaign will continue to focus on its dangers but be more specific, MacLennan said.

Use of methamphetamine also is dropping in the Grand Valley, said Mesa County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.

In 2005, prosecutors filed more than 2,223 methamphetamine cases. That number was down to 1,824 last year, marking the fourth consecutive drop in felony filings.

Rubinstein, MacLennan and Suthers announced the new ad campaign at Central High School.

“We needed a very comprehensive prevention campaign, and this project has given us that,” Suthers said.


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