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The Montana Meth Project's ads have poignantly illustrated the human tragedy of those who use this incredibly addictive drug. Meth's disruption of young people's lives and its terrible toll on families is totally unacceptable. Now Montana teens have a real chance to be part of the public education campaign against meth and send their own message to fellow teens and their communities.

The Montana Meth Project's Paint the State contest is asking teens to produce art around Montana that speaks directly to the dangers of meth and builds upon the "Not Even Once" media messages. Montana is a blank canvas waiting for what I know will be limitless creativity from our 13- to 18-year-olds. I'm confident that the ability to make a difference would be enough to get the young people of Montana excited about the contest.

I'm calling on parents and teachers to make sure teenagers know about this most worthwhile chance to make a difference in the fight against meth. Please take time to brainstorm with them, support their efforts and help unleash their creativity. Get involved this summer with the teens in your lives and in your communities.

I applaud those who are already participating, and encourage teens across the state to visit www.paintthestate.org for more details, rules, tips and the registration form. School may be out of the summer, but Montana's education about the dangers of meth continues.

Linda McCulloch

Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Helena

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