High Price of Meth

How does one fight the meth epidemic? California officials and ad executives are hoping the answer lies in a multi-million dollar print, billboard and commercial campaign:

California drug officials launched an $11-million barrage of billboards, bus wraps, cable TV ads and a website Thursday aimed at discouraging gay men from using methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant linked to risky sexual behavior and the spread of HIV.

A statewide survey, also released Thursday, found that crystal meth use was 11 times more common among gay men than in the California population overall. Fifty-five percent of 549 gay and bisexual men surveyed said they had used the drug, compared with 5% of the general population.

Sorry, Me Not Meth campaign, we think you should show what meth addicts really look like: toothless, gray faced, zombified nightmares. These boys look like models.

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  • benjamin McGregor

    the one on the left is taylor hanson.

  • oakling

    *looks dubious* I’d love to see any statistics that suggest that these campaigns work. I’d say that it isn’t going to cut back on addiction in general, but there’s a slim chance it might cut back on how many addicts use meth per se….

  • hisurfer

    Scary, meth-addicted models, maybe?

    I don’t know if the campaign will work, but we need to do something, and this is better than silence.

    And … 55% of you California boys did meth??? What the fuck? I’m hoping this was a biased survey. If not, what is going on with you guys? I’m pro-choice for substances in most cases, but not for the big three (crack, heroin, crystal meth).

  • Matthew

    Yeah meth is a horrible, horrible drug. I think it was Margaret Cho joking about the epidemic who said about us gay boys, “Who needs to diet, when there’s crystal meth?”
    But those Ads to me almost endorse the use. I want to be skinny, and look reflective. Whoopee!

  • M Shane

    There are different problems with meth. I think that probably the worst is the connection with HIV. People lose thier sense of reality and just dive into things without thinking. It used to be epidemic in San Francisco. The other problem is that it is made here in the U.S.mainly, I believe .
    The other thing is that it is very much a gay drug as people can screw inordinately. So it’s our communities problem.

  • hells kitchen guy

    The reason why these ads don’t work is because ALL models look like they’re on crystal meth, so these don’t look extraordinary. (Hell, most models probably are on meth.)

  • Dawster

    this campaign is certainly better than the atrocious “buy meth get aids free” theme in NY a few years back that made me go publicly ape-shit on the organizer.

    i don’t think meth is a horrible drug. whatever drug you personally prefer is a horrible drug. for some it’s meth, for others it’s alcohol… for others it’s crack or cocaine. every drug has a 20-60-20 split. 20% are instantly addicted, 20% are made sick by it, and 60% are somewhere in the middle. meth is no different.

    to single out any drug specifically is ignoring the larger issue. it’s also behind the times as meth is over and pharmaceuticals are the new craze. anyone still putting out meth adds are living in the past.

    that should tell you something.

    in any case, of all the “anti-meth” campaigns, i don’t mind this one… i think it’s 5 years too late, but it’s not bad (although yes, i think their statistics are GREATLY over exaggerated).

    i always thought the best anti-meth campaign would be a take off of all those drug commercials we see on TV… “side effects may include…”

    and why not? fear sells.

  • tim

    Strange, last time I was at the White Party in PS, I didn’t see anyone toothless, gray faced, or zombified. But I did see quite a few meth addicts. (ok, maybe zombified)

    the problem with your statement is that it allows you to say that since I’m not toothless or gray faced, I must not be a meth addict.

    lots of functional meth addicts in this city, but they’re still destroying their health, their lives, and the lives of those around them. they’re the ones that this ad campaign is aimed at.

  • qjersey

    These ads don’t help people who are currently hooked on meth, but they do frighten people into not trying it. If anything demonizing one drug over another is stupid. The anti-meth tirade in NYC has had the unintended consequence of making cocaine ‘okay…cause it’s not meth.” We should be addressing substance abuse in general in our community!!!

  • I'm So Sure, Helen

    Or we could be trying to find out why so many people in our society find the reality of themselves so horrible that they find it necessary to use mind altering chemicals of any kind — including alcohol — to escape.

  • M Shane

    I’m so sure Helen:
    That’s so applicable not just to illegal drugs but even moreover to the flood of mood altering phamaceutical drugs which constitute a huge industry in America: Drugs which make it tolerable to live in an otherwise intolerable political/economic system. The antidepressant craze is diabolical–to say that these are not mood altering and not addictive is just crazy. They are little mind bombswhich make people anthing but themselves.
    All mind altering drugs are a great asset to governments that need a compliant, unquestioning citizenry.

  • alan brickman

    this campaign won’t work cause most meth addicts don’t think they’re addicted anyways…

  • Rick T

    You’re totally right M Shane. It all happened during the Doctor-Parliament Convention of 1962, but most of us don’t remember it because of the mind-altering lasers sent out by satellites from orbit. Lucky for me, I have my tin foil hat – you must have yours too.

    I think that anti-depressants are on a different level to meth. One saves lives, the other destroys lives. A lot of people have this misconceptions that anti-depressants like valium, making people happy and giving them a buzz — they’re wrong, and possibly they’re thinking of ADHD meds which are speed-based. Anti-depressants just make you very apathetic. You don’t cry anymore, you don’t hurt, and you don’t go slicing your wrists anymore – but on the same token, you don’t laugh (sincerely, that is), and when you go watch a really sad movie you feel nothing anymore. Your energy and enjoyment for life drop right down.

    Some people are in such a way that to ever come off anti-depressants would be a death sentence, because they would probably kill themselves. Yes, they’re dependant on the drugs – addicted, if you will. Like people with diabetes are “addicted” to insulin.

  • M Shane

    Valium isn’t an antidepressant nor are ADHD meds, and from what I can tell they are less intrusive than Antidepressants.
    I don’t generally disagree with you, apart from stating that it has been found that these drugs can be extremely dandgerous and cause suiciude rather than preventing it. My point, however, since I don’t rely on tin hats, which certainly won’t hurt you as much as the neurotransmiter affecting drugs(go for it!) is that we live in a social system which leaves people unhappy to the degree where they would prefer to wander around in a daze.
    The legalization of these drugs don’t make them any less ‘mood altering” and don’t make the other drugs any more dangerous. People can function very well, for instance on heroin, which causes no harm whatsoever. I’ve known people to do well with cocain or methadine for that matter and be quite functonal. Overuse of
    methadrine with some people can be destructive,

    It is by no means established that the conditions which initiate this melancholy are
    biological. Quite the contrary, many psychologists believe quit the contrary: that the percipitating cause is exterior and may have an internal perpetuating chemical inducer.
    In the latter case, if you remove the perpetuationg cause you remove the depression.

    Most drugs can be useful in some situations with some people and destructive with others.
    There is no doubt that politics affects the availability and usefulnessof anything in one way or other.
    There are several good books out by psychiatrists about the dangers of antidepressants, and about the fraud behind their use. “The Prozac Backlash ” by Glenmullen M.D. a Harvard instructor is helpful. Since all of the reports about the hazardous effects of antidepressants have been released by the FDA., although there are regular newspaper reports.

  • M Shane

    p.s. The illegality of some drugs, expose people to drugs and the ilicit situations of use which are not safe expose people to a rash of ill consequences.

  • M Shane

    BTW Rick There are 4 healthcare lobbiests/senator in washington. Hillary, e.g., took approx. $800,000 in contributions from them in 2006.

  • Kate H.

    The one on the left is not Taylor Hanson, I’m pretty sure his name is Vincent Van Deilen. He is an actor/model in LA. Use to be in my class.

  • hal

    I don’t know much about meth, but I’ve seen the ads.
    Do straight people do it?

  • Jake Manson

    I tried meth and did not like how it made me feel, jittery and paranoid, I would say almost sick so I never did it again. I tried large amounts of coke, but it had minmal effect for some reason, so i gave iot up (it was expensive too). the one thing that I was afraid to try was crack. I always drank a lot, and had a good tolerance, but that is now catching up with me at middle age so I am cutting down.

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