Terry Goddard Announces 65% Statewide Drop in Teen Meth Use

(Phoenix, Ariz. - December 22, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a major achievement in Arizona’s fight against methamphetamine. According to the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s 2010 Arizona Youth Survey, youth methamphetamine use across Arizona has declined by more than 65 percent between 2006 and 2010.

The youth survey is a bi-annual assessment of substance abuse and other high-risk youth behavior in Arizona. The 2010 survey measured statewide and county-by-county methamphetamine use among students in grades 8, 10 and 12 and compared those results to data obtained in the 2006 and 2008 youth surveys. In 2006, 4.3 percent of Arizona teens said they had tried meth at least once. In 2010, that figure dropped to 1.5 percent.

In making the announcement, Goddard cited Arizona’s development of a coordinated effort that includes law enforcement, treatment and prevention as key to the decline.

“The new data show that Arizona’s commitment to educating teens about the risks of using meth is paying off,” Goddard said. “Thanks to the Arizona Meth Project and community programs around the state, we are seeing dramatic decreases in teen methamphetamine use. With the supply of meth increasing as a result of trafficking by the Mexican drug cartels, prevention efforts are even more critical to our success in overcoming Arizona’s methamphetamine problem.”

Prior to the launch of the Arizona Meth Project, meth use in Arizona was twice the national average. Arizona ranks No. 1 in the nation for meth-related identity theft, and 65 percent of Arizona’s child abuse and neglect cases involve meth. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the supply of meth in the U.S. is at its highest level, highest purity, and lowest cost in five years due to increased trafficking by the Mexican drug cartels.

In 2007, Goddard, in partnership with Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley and local anti-meth coalitions, launched the Arizona Meth Project to reduce
methamphetamine use by Arizona youth. Now a non-profit organization, the Arizona Meth Project leverages a proven model that combines extensive research with a hard-hitting, integrated media campaign and community action.

The Arizona Meth Project is affiliated with the Meth Project, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California, aimed at significantly reducing meth use across the country through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. The Meth Project model has been implemented in Arizona and seven other states: Montana, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Wyoming.

For more information, contact Janey Pearl at (602) 542-8019. The 2010 survey is available on the Attorney General’s Web site, www.azag.gov. Additional information, including county level statistics, is available on the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s Web site, http://azcjc.gov/. For more information about the Arizona Meth Project, visit www.arizonamethproject.org.