Montana Meth Campaign Instills Anger, Despair, Retribution


Watching these new Montana Meth spots makes one want to grab a gun, hunt down a drug dealer, stick the barrel of the gun in his mouth and blow his fucking head off. Yes, these new Venables Bell & Partners-created spots are powerful. Very powerful. Shot in single continuous takes and directed by the brilliant Darren Aronofsky, the four spots explore the effect of Meth not just on the individual but also on that individual's friends and family. A girlfriend gets sold for drug money. A mother gets hit by her drug-addled son while he steals her money. An overdosed girl gets dumped at the hospital by her "friends." A husband and wife lock their out-of-control son out of their home. Powerful stuff, indeed.

As powerful as these spots most kids already know drugs are bad and should not be used. The problem is peer pressure and the strength a kid needs to break from its bonds. It's not easy. No one wants to be the uncool one. The one who wimped out. The outcast that just won't fit in. Difficult indeed. Consequential approaches to anti-drug use such as this Montana Meth campaign and many other anti-drug programs can only do so much. Seemingly, the drugs are out there no matter what anyone does to eliminate them.

It's not as easy as just saying no. There are too many compelling reasons not to say no. We don't at all pretend to have any answer to the drug problem short of allowing governments to go after drug dealers like the U.S. went after Saddam Hussein. We're certainly not smart enough to solve this problem outright but we are smart enough to know what we're doing apparently isn't enough. That's not to say this campaign bad or does not help the cause. It does. It raises awareness of the problem and acutely illustrates the dangers of drug use. And it does so in one of the most powerful ways we've ever seen, for which it should be highly commended.

View the spots here, here, here and here.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (10)     File: Best, Campaigns     Apr-13-07  
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Aronofsky, huh? Great choice. I'm still scarred by certain scenes in "Requiem for a Dream."

Posted by: David Burn on April 13, 2007 10:56 AM

ONE thing we all can do is use the "social network" and post links to these on all/most of the sites where we have info - such as MySpace, Facebook, etc. I have put all four on my Myspace page (

Posted by: Anthony on April 13, 2007 02:51 PM

This past week I discovered that one of the two tenants that I have downstairs is a coke dealer. From what I now know, he started about doing this in February, about a month after he moved in. I'm a single parent and have an 11 year old child here with me. A loveable dog as well.

I'm obviously going to kick him out, but I have to do it 'right' because he doesn't know that I know. At least not yet. By that, I mean, I can't just directly kick him out (as a tenant, he's got certain rights). So I'm giving him notice, which should resolve it relatively quickly because he hasn't paid rent for over a month. He doesn't have a signed lease, so it will be a matter of days.

But he may resist or pay back rent, so then I'll have to confront him with what I know. And I don't know how he'll react upon finding out I know.

I don't know if or how I'll turn to the police. After he's gone I guess. I've manage to come up with a decent amount of info.

Like Steve, I'd like to grab a gun, stick it down his throat and blow his fucking head off. For putting my family in jeporady and hurting society.

Yes, that is what I want to do.

Posted by: name withheld on April 13, 2007 03:47 PM

Been there...done that guys. I have a 19 year old daughter who is a drug addict/alcoholic. Done the rehab thing 4 times. Drugs ruin families and destroy lives. Anybody who has a family member or a friend who is on drugs needs help themselves. Go find a local Nar-Anon or Al-Anon chapter. Those orgs are set up to help family members cope with this situation. Its not about the Addict...its about YOU and getting well yourself.

As for the person with the Coke dealer downstairs, call the police. Talk to a police detective in the narcotics division. Let them set up a buy from your dealer downstairs. Much easier to evict the asshole when he has been arrested for felony distribution on your property.

Meantime, talk to your kids about what happened when it does. Will be very instructive for them.

Im glad to see powerful ads on drugs. Not just meth either. The designer drugs today make the marijuana smoked in the 60's and 70's look tame. Very common to see grass laced with PCP or even Heroin now days.


Posted by: Eric on April 14, 2007 06:17 AM

Oh grow up. Since when did scare tactics ever work in drug ads. And since this has become a forum for sharing personal drug experiences ...
I once had a glass bong (sniffle) and I dropped it (sniffle, sniffle) and it shattered and cut my finger (crying) and now I'm scarred for life. DAMN YOU DRUGS!

Posted by: POTHEAD on April 14, 2007 10:17 AM

Why does it always seem that there's at least one idiot who seems to think any anti-drug campaign or message nothing more than unwarrented, preachy crap? I think these ads will be relatively effective. Sure they'll be some kids that will try meth...there's NO message that could get through to them. But to me this is a huge step in the right direction. The ads come with a strong message that's absolutely clear. They show realistic situations.

And Pothead, you lowlife asshole, my living situation and Eric's family situation are part of this conversation. If you don't like that, tough shit.

Posted by: name withheld on April 14, 2007 04:54 PM

Grass laced with PCP or Heroin, eh? No offense, but you are only dating yourself there. Economically, that makes no sense, and has been a paranoid talking point for ages.

Posted by: Ryan on April 16, 2007 02:39 PM

I just watched these ads without the sound on and was still moved. Sure, we know that most of the anti-drug ads don't do that much (thanks "drug czar" just arrested the teenager selling 2 ounces of pot, but you missed the jail-hardened career dealer. Thanks...). But...if this scares just a few kids out of their gourds and keeps them from trying something as destructive as meth, then I think the campaign works.

Posted by: Sarah on April 16, 2007 04:21 PM

I have to agree with Pothead - the scare tactics are effective for the and the media to pat themselves on the back and feel all clever. I'm not so sure they work when it comes to the kids. Too often I've seen parents who aren't involved in their child's development and ads like this have the effect of making parents feel all secure in the knowledge that they don't have to - because their little darling will be as shocked by the advert as they themselves were.
Rather than relying upon scaring kids, why not try to educate them as well - the double-whammy approach.

Posted by: Londoner on April 17, 2007 03:46 AM

Let's use common sense here and take a bird's eye view of ads like this.

Ads like this aren't designed to be the total solution. They aren't designed to be the only means of convincing young people to not start using meth. They aren't designed to replace parents.

They're instead designed to graphically show young people what all to often happens to you if you 'even once' use it. Young people who may be somewhat vulnerable to the allure of using it in the first place.

They're designed to ASSIST parents in their quest to teach their kids about the dangers of drug use.

Will it work for all kids? Of course not. But it does add to the messages that kids will receive in our society that doing drugs like meth will lead to horrendous consequences.

That's what these ads are designed to do.

Posted by: jptrenn on April 17, 2007 10:29 AM

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