ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske Launches Nationwide Meth Prevention Media Campaign
Print Ad Featuring Drug Court Graduate Runs in 36 Major Newspapers
St. Louis, Missouri/September 1, 2009/ The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, Gil Kerlikowske, today unveiled a new anti-methamphetamine (meth) ad campaign launched nationally and with particular focus on 16 States where meth prevalence, and lab seizures and incidents, are high.
Josh, a graduate of Dunklin County Missouri's Drug Court, is featured in the campaign’s open letter print ad which ran today in 36 major newspapers including The Washington Post. The ad, developed with help from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, tells the story of Josh’s meth initiation at age 17, which led to addiction, the loss of his job and house, and the trust of his family. Through a treatment program mandated through the Dunklin County Drug Court, administered by the Honorable Phillip Britt, Josh is now in his fifth year of recovery, reunited with his family, and working as a junior drug counselor at an area treatment facility.
Director Kerlikowske officially launched the campaign at a press conference this morning. “Despite the overall decline in meth usage across the country, we still have work to do,” said Kerlikowske. “This drug leaves a path of destruction that affects individuals, families and entire communities. Only by working together, can we rid the Nation of this insidious drug. This campaign complements the hard work done on a daily basis by members of law enforcement and the drug prevention and treatment communities to prevent meth use and encourage those affected by meth to understand that recovery from meth addiction is possible.”
Both Josh and Commissioner Britt of the 35th Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and President of the Missouri Association of Drug Court Professionals, spoke at the press conference. “My hope for this ad is that it shows people there is hope for those addicted to meth,” said Josh. “I want people to know they do have a chance at recovery.”
The Anti-Meth Campaign, in its third year of coordination by ONDCP’s National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, includes new advertising for TV, radio, print, Internet, billboards, and gas pumps. Using a “tiered” media approach, the Campaign ensures that all states receive a level of paid media support, with proportionally more media spending in 16 States with higher meth prevalence rates, based on national survey data, as well as a small group of Midwest States where meth lab seizures and incidents tend to be high. The ads will run from September to November 2009 in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Nebraska. Additionally, radio ads and Internet search ads will run nationwide during the same time period.
Director Kerlikowske was also joined today by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (MO-03), Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, Colonel James Keathley, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
“We know that a comprehensive, community approach to fighting meth is vitally important, and this includes the message that recovery is possible,” said Kerlikowske. “Josh’s story illustrates that message and provides the real potential for hope to families struggling with the many effects of this devastating drug.”
For more information about the Anti-Meth Campaign, to view advertising and other resources, and to learn about how to order free PSAs, visit www.methresources.gov.
Drug Court graduate Josh Palmer accepts a copy of the Anti-Meth Campaign public service announcement about him from ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske.