Does information matter? The effect of the Meth Project on meth use among youths
Are demand-side interventions effective at curbing drug use? To the extent demand-side programs are successful, their cost effectiveness can be appealing from a policy perspective. Established in 2005, the Montana Meth Project (MMP) employs a graphic advertising campaign to deter meth use among teens. Due to the MMP's apparent success, seven other states have adopted Meth Project campaigns. Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS), this paper investigates whether the MMP reduced methamphetamine use among Montana's youth. When accounting for a preexisting downward trend in meth use, effects on meth use are statistically indistinguishable from zero. These results are robust to using related changes of meth use among individuals without exposure to the campaign as controls in a difference-in-difference framework. A complementary analysis of treatment admissions data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) confirms the MMP has had no discernable impact on meth use.
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