Honolulu, Hawaii—The Hawaii Meth Project today released the results of the 2010 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey.  The statewide survey found that compared to the 2009 benchmark survey—conducted before the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project’s statewide Meth prevention campaign—Hawaii’s young people are increasingly aware of the risks of using Meth, strongly disapprove of taking the drug even once or twice, and teens are more likely to discuss the subject with their parents.  The data also shows that increasing numbers of teens and young adults say their friends would give them a hard time for using Meth.

According to the survey, 54% of Hawaii teens and 67% of young adults now see great risk in taking Meth once or twice, up 10 points for each group from one year ago.  The survey also shows that since the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project there is increasing disapproval of Meth use, as 87% of young adults now report they strongly disapprove of trying Meth even once or twice, up 6 points from the 2009 benchmark.  Hawaii teens and young adults are also now more likely to voice this disapproval—67% of teens (up 11 points) and 82% of young adults (up 7 points) say their friends would give them a hard time for using Meth.  In addition, 54% of teens (up 6 points) say they have discussed the subject of Meth with their parents in the past year.

“This research demonstrates we are making significant progress in our efforts to prevent Meth use among Hawaii’s young people,” said Dr. Kevin Kunz, President of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.  “Teens and young adults are considerably more aware of the risks of methamphetamine, increasingly disapprove of its use, and are taking action by telling their friends not to try Meth.  These changes in attitudes are key to reducing Meth use, so I am greatly encouraged by this new data.”

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 use the drug.  86% of teens agree the Hawaii Meth Project ads made them less likely to try or use Meth, and 85% say the ads have helped them understand that you can’t try Meth even once.  Among young adults, 93% say the ads helped them understand that it is dangerous to try Meth just once, and 87% say the ads convey that the drug is more dangerous to try than they originally thought.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Hawaii Meth Project we are educating Hawaii’s young people about the dangers of methamphetamine use,” said State Senator and President of the Hawaii Senate Colleen Hanabusa.  “Meth will destroy their health, rob them of their futures, and ruin the lives of those they care about most.  The ads have sparked much-needed parent-child dialogue, which is key to preventing Meth use among teens.”

Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives Calvin K.Y. Say said that an integrated prevention program is critical because the 2010 survey results also showed that too many of Hawaii’s young people remain at risk for Meth use.

“Methamphetamine remains readily available throughout Hawaii—35% of young adults say Meth would be easy to get, and one in five says someone has offered them Meth or that they have a close friend who uses the drug,” Speaker Say said.  “The legislature has strongly supported law enforcement efforts to reduce the supply of Meth, but we cannot eliminate the problem through law enforcement alone—we need to reduce demand for the drug by ensuring Hawaii’s young people are armed with the facts and understand the risks.  I commend the Hawaii Meth Project for the leadership role it has played in developing an effective prevention strategy in Hawaii.”

In addition to raising awareness about the overall risks of Meth use, the Hawaii Meth Project’s campaign has also resulted in a greater understanding of specific risks of using the drug.  For example, 76% of young adults now see great risk of getting hooked on Meth, up 12 points from the benchmark survey.  Nearly 7 in 10 (67%) see great risk of suffering brain damage (up 9 points), 60% believe they risk becoming violent (up 9 points), and nearly two-thirds (66%) believe using Meth puts them at risk for having sex with someone they don’t want to (up 11 points).  Among teens, 77% believe that using Meth once or twice puts them at great risk of getting hooked (up 6 points) and two-thirds or more believe they risk becoming more violent (64%, up 9 points) or having sex with someone they don’t want to (70%, up 10 points).

The 2010 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey was made possible through the assistance of the Hawaii State Department of Education, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, and the University of Hawaii Institutional Review Board (IRB), Committee on Human Studies, and the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

The survey is conducted to measure attitudes and behaviors related to methamphetamine among Hawaii teens, young adults, and parents, and track 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 2010 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey was executed in March and April 2010 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.  The survey was conducted among random samples of 1,035 teens (ages 12-17) who attended one of 29 randomly selected junior and senior high schools across Hawaii, both private and public, as well as a random sample of 372 young adults (ages 18-24), and 403 parents of 12-19 year-olds from throughout Hawaii.  The executive summary and complete survey report can be obtained from the Hawaii Meth Project’s website atwww.HawaiiMethProject.org/Research.

The Hawaii Meth Project also unveiled the second wave of its statewide public education messaging campaign today, including new television, radio, online, and outdoor advertisements. The new campaign, which is based on extensive research with teens, and prevention and treatment experts, graphically depicts the real physical and emotional consequences of Meth addiction.  The media campaign is part of the Hawaii Meth Project’s integrated public education program, which also includes community outreach conducted in partnership with local coalitions, prevention and treatment partners, law enforcement, and state and local governments.

Survey Highlights

Findings from the 2010 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey revealed that compared to the 2009 benchmark survey—conducted before the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project’s statewide Meth prevention campaign—Hawaii’s teens and young adults are increasingly aware of the risks of using Meth, strongly disapprove of taking the drug even once or twice, and are more likely to discuss the subject with their parents.  The data also shows that increasing numbers of teens and young adults say their friends would give them a hard time for using Meth.

All statistics are sourced from the 2010 Hawaii Meth Use & Attitudes Survey report, available at www.HawaiiMethProject.org/Research.  The following highlights some of the survey’s principal findings:

Perceived Availability of Meth

– One in seven (14%) teens says Meth would be “somewhat” or “very easy” to acquire, and one in ten says someone has offered Meth to him or her.

– About one in three young adults say Meth would be “somewhat” or “very easy” to acquire (35%), and about one in four (23%) says someone has offered him or her the drug.

– Half of parents believe it would be easy for their teen to get Meth (52%), easier than either cocaine (37%) or heroin (28%), but not marijuana (78%).

Meth Usage

– About one in ten teens (9%) say he or she has close friends who use Meth and one in twenty (5%) say they have friends who have been in treatment for using Meth.  About one in six teens (16%) says he or she has family members who have been treated for Meth use.

– Approximately one in five young adults says he or she has close friends who use Meth (17%) or have been treated for it (19%).  About one in five says a family member has been treated for Meth (18%).

– One in 20 parents (5%) believes their teen is “extremely” or “very likely” to have tried Meth.

Perceived Benefits and Risks of Meth Use

– Compared to the 2009 benchmark survey, more Hawaii teens and young adults view Meth use as dangerous.  54% of teens (up 10 points) and 67% of young adults (up 10 points) now believe there is “great risk” in taking Meth just once or twice.

– Hawaii teens and young adults are now more aware of the specific dangers of Meth use.  Increases in perceptions of risk in taking Meth were reported in several specific risk areas.

– Teens see great risk that taking Meth will:
– turn them into someone they don’t want to be (79%, up 6 points)
– get them hooked (77%, up 6 points)
– make their problems worse (75%, up 5 points)
– make them have sex with someone they don’t want to (70%, up 10 points)
– lead them to steal (68%, up 8 points)
– cause them to become violent (64%, up 9 points)
– lead to a decline in personal hygiene (64%, up 6 points).

– Young adults see “great risk” of several potential negative outcomes from taking Meth:
– getting hooked (76%, up 12 points)
– losing control of themselves (77%, up 8 points)
– having sex with someone they don’t want to (66%, up 11 points)
– suffering brain damage (67%, up 9 points)
– stealing (67%, up 12 points)
– becoming violent (60%, up 9 points)
– a decline in hygiene (60%, up 12 points)
– dying (61%, up 10 points).


Social Approval of Meth Use

– Among Hawaii teens, there is widespread disapproval of taking Meth—83% “strongly disapprove” of taking the drug once or twice.

– Compared to the 2009 benchmark, more teens report that their friends would give them a hard time if they were to use Meth (67%, up 11 points).   59% say they have told their friends not to use Meth.

– 87% of young adults “strongly disapprove” of taking Meth once or twice (up 6 points since the benchmark).

– 82% (up 7 points since 2009) of young adults say their friends would give them a hard time for using Meth.  Two in three say they have told their friends not to use Meth.


Key Information Sources and Advertising Effectiveness

– More than half of Hawaii teens (54%, up 6 points) say they have discussed Meth with their parents, representing an increase in such discussions over the past year.

– 81% of parents say they have discussed the subject of Meth with their teen in the past year (71% say they’ve done so more than once).

– Anti-Meth advertising is seen or heard at least once a week by 68% of teens, 68% of young adults, and 65% of parents.

– 86% of teens say the Hawaii Meth Project ads made them less likely to try or use Meth, helped them understand that you can’t try Meth even once (85%), and made them more aware of the risks of using Meth (83%).

– About seven in 10 teens agree that the ads gave them new information or told them things they didn’t know about Meth (69%).

– 81% of young adults agree the Hawaii Meth Project ads made them less likely to try or use Meth, helped them understand that you can’t try Meth even once (78%), and made them more aware of the risks of using Meth (78%).

– The vast majority of teens say the Hawaii Meth Project’s ads gave them the impression that Meth will make you act in a way you would not want to act (94%), affects many people’s lives other than the user’s (94%), will make you look different than you usually do (93%), is dangerous to try just one time (92%), is more dangerous than they had originally thought (90%), and that Meth-related problems could happen in their town or school (86%).

– Like teens, the majority of young adults agree the ads gave them the impression that Meth will make you act in a way you would not want to act (98%), will make you look different than you usually do (98%), that Meth affects many people’s lives other than the user’s (95%), is dangerous to try just one time (93%), is more dangerous to try than they originally thought (87%), and that Meth-related problems could happen in their town or school (87%).

About the Hawaii Meth Project: 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.  For more information, visit www.HawaiiMethProject.org

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