Meth360® : A Multidisciplinary Approach to Fighting Meth
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has launched Meth360®, a multidisciplinary community outreach program that will enhance law enforcement efforts to deal with the impact of methamphetamine and mobilize parents and concerned citizens to take action to prevent meth use.
Created in 2006 with COPS Office funding, Meth360 pairs teams of law enforcement officers with substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals to codeliver meth awareness presentations to local business and civic organizations, schools, and parent groups. By encouraging presenters to work in teams and bring their own experiences and anecdotes to the presentation, Meth360 offers audiences a “360-degree” perspective of the meth issue. For presenters, Meth360 helps build bridges between law enforcement and social services providers in their efforts to protect families and communities from substance abuse.
Meth360 was pilot-tested in four regions of the United States, with support from four lead law enforcement agencies. The Partnership recruited and trained presenters in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Albany, New York; Pierce and King Counties, Washington; and Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Northern Virginia. During the 9-month pilot test, 170 volunteer presenters from among law enforcement officers, substance abuse prevention professionals, and treatment professionals delivered 200 presentations, reaching 7,100 community members.
Audience evaluations in the pilot areas indicated that 93 percent of those who saw the presentation said Meth360 “taught them more” about methamphetamine, while 86 percent reported that they would “take action” to help protect their community.
Subsequent research conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum showed that 100 percent of the presenters who responded to a survey would recommend Meth360 to communities interested in raising awareness about meth use, and 98 percent stated that the multidisciplinary approach enhanced the program’s credibility.
“Communities must be involved if we are to win the fight against drugs,” said Sergeant James Cox of the Fairfax County Police Department, one of the first agencies participating in Meth360. “Meth360 has aided our Department in forming partnerships with the communities we serve—and with our own government— by delivering the extremely powerful message that accompanies this campaign. These partnerships will be long-lasting and treasured, and if other jurisdictions have the same success we have had with Meth360, I truly believe methamphetamine can be a drug of the past.”
A second COPS grant allowed the Partnership to expand Meth360 into 10 additional states and recruit lead law enforcement agencies to help establish and expand the program in those states. Meth360 is now operating in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, and Texas. Program participants are using a new web site, www.drugfree.org/meth360, to train themselves to deliver and coordinate presentations. This resource is available free of charge to all agencies and includes all materials needed to implement Meth360.
With funding from the Office of Justice of Programs and the COPS Office, the Partnership will expand Meth360 into 10 more states in 2008—Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—as well as create youth, parent, and Spanish-language versions of the presentation.