Categorized | Health

Hawaii Meth Project launches new campaign


The Hawaii Meth Project has announced the next statewide wave of its public service messaging campaign. The new television, radio, print, and online advertising portrays the dramatic effects meth can have on the user and the devastating impacts on friends and family.

“As a result of the Hawaii Meth Project our young people are more aware of the dangers of using meth and are less likely to try it,” said Michael Broderick, President and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. “The new campaign really speaks to how meth impacts and destroys not just the user, but their strongest and most important relationships.”

The new radio spots feature local teens who describe their experiences with meth in poignant detail. The Hawaii Meth Project partnered with HYCF to interview teens in their facility who wanted to share their stories in hopes of helping other young people.

In one ad, Casey, a teen from Wailua, who started doing meth at age 14, describes how he lost his ability to care about his friends and family, how he hurt them and others by resorting to stealing and violence to feed his addiction.

“The Hawaii Meth Project is focused on educating Hawaii’s youth — early and often — about the risks of meth. In speaking with teens in recovery, one of the most common regrets of their addiction, second only to taking that first hit, is the pain they caused family and friends. This new campaign provides a glimpse into how meth can take control and become the only thing that matters,” said Cindy Adams, Executive Director of the Hawaii Meth Project.

“I tried meth for the first time when I was 14,” said 18-year old Nina Wood, a recovering meth user. “I thought I could use when I felt like it, but eventually it took over my life. I lost a lot of weight, my hair started falling out, and meth damaged my liver and kidneys. I would lie and steal to get a fix. I yelled at my family, slammed doors and punched walls. The Hawaii Meth Project ads show what can happen. I wish I had known before I started using. I wish I could take everything back.”

The television spots, directed by Darren Aronofsky, take a dark look at the dangers of meth to those closest to the user.

In one of the television ads, a boy reflects on how much he cares about his mother. The scene shows a very different picture. We see the same boy, now an addict, stealing money from her purse to buy meth, and when confronted, he knocks her to the ground.

In another spot, a girl talks about how close she and her friends are and how loyal they are to her while the image shows them dumping her body in front of a hospital after an apparent overdose then speeding away.

Aronofsky’s latest film, the psychological thriller Black Swan, was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and earned actress Natalie Portman an Academy Award for Best Actress.

His debut feature film was Pi, in 1998, and was followed by the critically acclaimed Requiem for a Dream, which chronicled a destructive descent into drug addiction, and earned actress Ellen Burstyn an Academy Award nomination.

His film The Wrestler received Academy Award nominations for actor Mickey Rourke and supporting actress Marisa Tomei.

The new television, print, and online ads can be viewed at

The radio ads featuring the true stories of youth from HYCF will launch in September, but can be previewed now on Hawaii Meth Project’s Facebook page at

2011 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey

The Hawaii Meth Project has released findings from the 2011 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey which revealed that, compared to a benchmark survey conducted prior to the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project, Hawaii’s young people are significantly more aware of the dangers of trying meth and increasingly disapprove of trying the drug.

Teens increasingly report they have told friends not to use meth and the Hawaii Meth Project’s campaign made them less likely to try or use the drug.

According to the new study, 59% of Hawaii teens and 73% of Hawaii young adults now see great risk in trying meth once or twice, up 15 points among teens from 44% in 2009 and up 16 points among young adults from 57%.

Hawaii’s young people are also now more aware of the specific, negative effects of meth use. Increasing numbers of teens see “great risk” in 13 out of the 14 specific negative effects including: getting hooked on meth (82%, up 11 points) and turning into someone they don’t want to be (83%, up 10 points).

In addition to positive changes in perception of risk, teens are also more likely to strongly disapprove of trying meth (87%, up 5 points) and increasingly have told their friends not to use the drug (70%, up 11 points).

Teens are also now more likely to have discussed the subject of meth with their parents in the past year (53%, up 5 points).

“The results of the study are overwhelmingly positive and clearly indicate the Hawaii Meth Project campaign is making tremendous strides in changing attitudes and behaviors toward meth,” said Dr. Kevin Kunz, a specialist in Addiction Medicine in Kailua-Kona and President of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. “Our young people better understand the dangers associated with Meth use and are now less likely to try the drug.”

Teens and young adults also reported that the Hawaii Meth Project’s campaign provided them with critical information about Meth and made them less likely to try the drug.

Most teens (88%) and young adults (75%) agree the Hawaii Meth Project ads made them less likely to try or use meth, and 91% of teens and young adults say the ads show that meth is more dangerous to try than they originally thought.

In addition, 95% of teens and 96% of young adults say that if their brother, sister, or a friend were thinking about trying meth, they would want them to see or hear a Hawaii Meth Project ad.

“The Hawaii Meth Project’s approach of combining public service messaging campaigns with direct outreach and education has made a marked difference,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent for the Department of Education. “The Project not only reaches teens with a campaign that shows Meth is highly addictive and destructive, it also involves them through effective and engaging programs in our classrooms and communities.”

The Hawaii Meth Project has made tremendous progress in educating teens about the risks of meth use, but the problem is far from solved. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is at its highest levels of availability and purity and lowest price since 2005.

Two in 10 Hawaii teens (19%) report that the drug would be easy to get. Roughly one in 10 Hawaii teens (9%) report someone has offered or tried to get them to use the drug.

It is estimated meth abuse costs the state more than $500 million annually in costs associated with law enforcement, social services, treatment, and lost productivity.

Hawaii ranks No. 2 in the nation for meth-related treatment admissions and according to Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index 2010 data, workers in Hawaii are four times more likely to test positive for meth than the national average in workplace drug testing.

The Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey is conducted to measure attitudes and behaviors related to methamphetamine among Hawaii teens and young adults, and tracks changes over time.

A benchmark survey was conducted in the spring of 2009, prior to the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project’s prevention campaign. The 2011 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey was executed in March and April 2011 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.

The survey was conducted among random samples of 1,205 teens (ages 12-17) who attended one of 30 randomly selected junior and senior high schools across Hawaii, both private and public, as well as a random sample of 347 young adults (ages 18-24).

The Hawaii Meth Project is a non-profit organization that implements a range of advertising and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state.

Launched in June 2009, the Hawaii Meth Project leverages a proven model that combines extensive research with a hard-hitting, integrated media campaign.

The Hawaii Meth Project is affiliated with the Meth Project, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California, aimed at significantly reducing meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach.

— Find out more:
Hawaii Meth Project:
Complete survey report:

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