Idaho Meth Project Making a Difference

November 30, 2014 - KTVB

The Idaho Meth Project launched a prevention campaign in 2008, and since then has seen a 56% drop in teen meth users in Idaho. Many of the commercials are graphic and disturbing, but Idaho Meth Project Executive Director, Adrean Cavener, says the images are true and make an impact.

BOISE – Sunday kicked off National Meth Awareness Week. Methamphetamine is considered one of the most highly addictive substances known, and according to the Idaho Meth Project, one in three teens see little or no risk in trying it.

The Idaho Meth Project launched a prevention campaign in 2008, and since then has seen a 56 percent drop in teen meth users in Idaho. Many of the commercials are graphic and disturbing, but Idaho Meth Project Executive Director, Adrean Cavener, says the images are true and make an impact.

Methamphetamine is a very addictive synthetic stimulant that affects the pleasure centers of the brain. Boise resident, Jason Zimmerman, says once he started he couldn’t stop. Zimmerman is a recovering addict. He was first around the drug at just 12-years-old. He says that some family friends got hooked and then disappeared.

“Hopefully they found a way out, but a lot of people don’t,” said Zimmerman. “I swore I would never use meth, but when I was 18-years-old someone put it in front of me and I used it.”

The Idaho Meth Project says the average age to first try meth is 14 or 15-years-old, and 90 percent of them become addicted after one time. A major hurdle is meth is inexpensive. Two grams of meth costs about $50 in the Treasure Valley and is enough for 20 hits.

The affects of using meth are devastating. Appearance is drastically altered and there are also severe psychological and social consequences. Many users end up in prison.

“It’s just that powerful of a drug,” said Zimmerman.

Jason served time and ten years later is speaking out about the dangers of meth. He visits prisons, detention centers, colleges and high schools across the state.

“The way I stay sober is by passing it on,” said Zimmerman.

Passing on the facts about meth is what the Idaho Meth Project is all about, but it starts with parents.

“If you’re not talking to your kids about meth someone else is,” said Cavener.

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