Press Releases: Colorado
August 7, 2012
Colorado Meth Project and Kaiser Permanente Partner to Educate Colorado Teens about Risks of Using Methamphetamine
Kaiser Permanente Colorado to Fund Statewide Prevention Campaign and Public Education Initiatives in Weld and El Paso Counties
DENVER — Kaiser Permanente Colorado and the Colorado Meth Project today announced a new partnership to educate Colorado youth about the risks of using methamphetamine. Made possible through a $150,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente community benefit funding, this partnership will expand the reach of the Colorado Meth Project’s successful statewide prevention campaign and provide funding for public education initiatives targeting teens in Weld and El Paso counties, where Meth treatment admission rates are significantly higher than the state average.
Colorado ranks seventh nationally in the total number of methamphetamine users ages 12 and older. Through this new partnership, Kaiser Permanente will support the Colorado Meth Project’s public education campaign and local community outreach programs, helping the organization reach tens of thousands of teens. Central to the public education campaign is MethProject.org, a definitive source for information about Meth for teens. The site addresses teens’ most frequently asked questions about the physical, mental, and social effects of Meth use. Each question is answered with a range of content, including interactive facts, videos, animations, image galleries, polls, and quizzes as well as personal stories from users, and first-hand accounts from experts.
“Methamphetamine is a very addictive drug that can have profound health consequences including brain damage, psychosis, and heart failure,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of communities throughout the state. The Colorado Meth Project has a proven track record of reaching teens through interactive mediums. We are excited to help the organization increase its efforts to reduce Meth use among Colorado teens by arming them with the facts about this dangerous drug.”
A key component of Kaiser Permanente’s public education efforts is preventing risky behaviors like methamphetamine use that can cause serious health problems for individuals and increase health care costs for Colorado’s public and private sectors. Methamphetamine is estimated to cost Colorado $1.4 billion annually, including significant costs to its health care, criminal justice, health, and foster care systems. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the supply of Meth in Colorado has steadily increased over the past several years due to increased trafficking by drug cartels. With overall availability high, teens are at greater risk for trying and using Meth.
The Colorado Meth Project has extensive community action programs which mobilize volunteers and community groups throughout the state to spearhead prevention efforts. Its in-school programs include student assemblies and rallies, poster and art contests where students can use their creativity to share anti-Meth messages with other teens, and classroom training and Meth prevention materials for Colorado teachers.
The Colorado Meth Project also partners with youth-serving organizations to develop after-school prevention programs, connects with teens through its presence at local community events, and fosters peer-to-peer outreach through its Teen Advisory Council. Made up of high school and middle school students throughout Colorado, Council members conduct peer outreach in their schools and communities, and spread the Colorado Meth Project’s prevention message online via social media. Recently, Council members joined Weld County community leaders, educators, and teens to create and unveil a giant anti-Meth mural in Greeley.
“We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their leadership in promoting healthy communities and their decision to focus attention on the critical issue of reducing methamphetamine use in Colorado,” said Kent MacLennan, executive director of the Colorado Meth Project. “Every year more teens are at risk of trying Meth, and we need to ensure they understand how dangerous this drug is.”
About the Colorado Meth Project
The Colorado Meth Project is a nonprofit organization that implements large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state. Central to its integrated campaign is MethProject.org a definitive source for information about Meth for teens. The Colorado Meth Project is affiliated with the Meth Project, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California, aimed at significantly reducing Meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. For more information, visit colorado.methproject.org.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
>Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 24 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. On October 1, 2012 Kaiser Permanente will open two new medical offices in Fort Collins and Loveland. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fifth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado, No. 6 in the nation and one of the top 3 Medicare plans in the U.S. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.