Fred Muench Named President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Fred Muench has been named President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Renowned Meth Prevention Campaign Joins Forces with Nation’s Largest Nonprofit Organization Dedicated to Reducing Teen Substance Abuse
New York—March 13, 2013—the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids announced today that the Meth Project—one of the world’s leading prevention organizations, renowned for its effectiveness—will become a part of The Partnership’s efforts to reduce substance abuse. The Meth Project’s public education programs, advertising campaigns, prevention tools, and family of websites, including MethProject.org, will now be a part of The Partnership’s comprehensive national efforts to reduce substance abuse among teens. The individual state Meth Project organizations will continue their local education, community action, school outreach, and teen advocacy initiatives, operating as members of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas M. Siebel founded the Meth Project in 2005 to address the growing problem of methamphetamine use. The research-based program has had a profound effect, first in Montana, where teen meth use has dropped 63 percent and meth-related crime has declined by 62 percent. The success of the Meth Project in Montana led to its adoption by seven additional states that have seen similar results. Teen meth use is down 65 percent in Arizona and 50 percent in Idaho.
“I want to thank Tom Siebel and his team for the progress they have made in reducing methamphetamine use, and I commend The Partnership for making the Meth Project part of its comprehensive program to help families address the problem of teen substance abuse,” said Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. “We brought the Meth Project to Georgia to stem the growing methamphetamine epidemic in our state, and we are seeing impressive results. We can now extend the Meth Project’s message to a broader audience, thanks to the additional expertise and resources The Partnership can provide.”
Siebel set out to significantly reduce methamphetamine use by establishing a repeatable, research-based prevention program that could be deployed in states across the country. The Project quickly gained national attention for its proven effectiveness and stark creative approach with campaigns directed by Academy Award nominees such as Darren Aronofsky and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. Siebel invested more than $30 million to develop the Meth Project model, which has grown into a multi-state public education effort and expanded to reach teens throughout the country with the launch of MethProject.org.
The Meth Project has had a far-reaching influence on public and private campaigns aimed at improving public health. For the success of the Meth Project and its broad impact, Siebel was named the third most effective philanthropist in the world by Barron’s magazine in its most recent rankings, and has received a White House commendation.
“Working together with Montana’s top notch law enforcement, parents, and teachers, the Montana Meth Project has made significant strides in helping stamp out drug use in our communities,” said Montana Senator Max Baucus. “Combining that track record with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a win for fighting the scourge of meth and continuing the important work of making sure young people in all of our communities can thrive.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is one of the greatest drug threats to the nation. The agency recently reported that the drug is at its highest levels of availability and purity, and lowest cost since 2005 because of increased levels of meth imported from Mexico, and growing rates of small-scale domestic production. RAND estimates methamphetamine costs the country between $16.2 and $48.3 billion per year in treatment, healthcare, and foster care services, as well as the costs of crime and lost productivity associated with the drug.
“Incorporating the Meth Project into our efforts is an extension of The Partnership’s commitment of more than a decade to push back against meth, and it comes at a crucial time when funding for vital prevention programs has been slashed and in some cases zeroed out of the federal government’s budget,” said the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids President and CEO Steve Pasierb. “Prevention is critical to reducing demand for and the societal damage of methamphetamine use. We have always shared a similar focus with the Meth Project on evidence-based strategies and a dedication to reducing teen substance abuse through public education and community mobilization. By joining together, we are reaffirming a mutual focus on reducing meth use in the United States. I want to thank Tom Siebel for his passionate leadership in developing the Meth Project and for the lasting contributions he and his team have made to countless communities and lives across our nation.”
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids was founded in 1986. Under the leadership of individuals such as Jim Burke, the former CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Allen Rosenshine, Roy Bostock and Pat Russo, the nonprofit pioneered the use of private-sector marketing and advertising techniques to prevent substance abuse—what is known today as social marketing. The Partnership has evolved to offer innovative digital products and social media initiatives, community education, and direct services and today, it has programs in prevention, intervention, and addiction treatment. The Partnership also operates the national Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 1-855-DRUGFREE; recently completed the acquisition of the Join Together community advocacy organization from Boston University; and became the program lead operating the national teen drug abuse prevention campaign known as Above The Influence.
The Partnership will take ownership of the Meth Project’s creative and intellectual properties, including its research methodologies, and the website MethProject.org. The state Meth Projects in Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will become local members of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and will continue operating as independent organizations under The Partnership’s umbrella.