The advertisements used powerful and striking images to make teens aware of the consequences of using meth. One print ad pictures a middle-aged woman, sitting bloody and beaten on her kitchen floor.
One of the most successful was Paint the State, a first of its kind public art contest aimed at communicating the risks of meth use through public art.
Truckers who had battled meth addiction stopped on the sides of roads to share their stories with teens putting up anti-meth signs.
The Meth Project initially required a substantial investment of funds and required continuous reevaluation of the effectiveness of its messages.
Behind these changes in behavior are notable changes in attitudes about meth. Montana teens are aware of the dangers of taking meth, likely to disapprove of taking the drug, and likely to have had discussions with their parents on the subject.
The Project has had a significant impact on the perceived benefits of using meth. Consider the percentage of teens surveyed who disagreed with these statements:
* Using meth "makes you more popular." The percentage of teens who disagreed increased from sixty-seven percent in 2005 to eighty-four percent in 2008.
* Using meth "makes you feel attractive." The percentage of teens who disagreed increased from fifty-six percent in 2005 to seventy-nine percent in 2008.
* Using meth "helps you escape your problems." The percentage of teens who disagreed increased from fifty-six percent in 2005 to eighty-one percent in 2008.
The evidence suggests that these changes stem in large part from the Meth Project.
The success of the Meth Project in changing attitudes and behavior has led the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to cite the Meth Project as a model program.
The Meth Project has been so widely adopted in part because it is an effective program from a cost-benefit analysis.