Meth Group Reaches Out to Teens in Spanish

The Meth Project, which is known for using graphic images in its ads to show the consequences of methamphetamine use, is now reaching out to Spanish-speaking teens in the Western U.S. through new radio and TV ads, CNN reported June 5.

The Spanish-language TV commercials set to air in Arizona, and radio spots that will be aired throughout the West, feature young Latinos talking about their battles with methamphetamine use.

In one of the radio spots, a recovering meth addict talks about how using meth made it easier for him to turn to a life of crime and gangs, and recounts how he used to rob and assault people and participate in drive-by shootings. 

Miguel Mouw, a volunteer with the Idaho Meth Project and a recovering meth addict, said the outreach to the Latino community was badly needed.  “In the Hispanic community, there’s just a lack of education, a lack of treatment and resources, there’s a lack of support, because there are some communication gaps,” said Mouw.

However, critics such as researcher David Erceg-Hurn of the University of Western Australia warn that the spots may backfire. “Some teenagers react negatively to graphic advertising. These people don’t like ’being told how to behave’ by the ads and may rebel against them, he said. Erceg-Hurn also said that the spots don’t provide information on how teens can get help for meth addictions or how to prevent meth use.

The Meth Project was launched in Montana in 2005 and now operates in six other states. The nonprofit’s controversial ads include a shot of a bloodied woman with the caption, “My mother knew I’d never hurt her, then she got in the way.” 

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