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Thursday
Nov102011

'Black Swan' Director Helps with Anti-Meth Ads

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Darren Aronofsky, the Oscar-nominated director behind Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, has taken his famously dark style to the small screen in four 30-second ads guaranteed to make teens think twice about using methamphetamine.

The ads, released Tuesday as part of the Meth Project's latest multimedia awareness campaign, depict the scary scenes of meth addiction: from desperation to loss of control to attempted suicide.

This is the second time Aronofsky has lent his vision and star power to the campaign. In 2008, he directed a series of ads showing how meth use affects not only the user but his or her loved ones.

Other Hollywood superstars who have teamed with the Project include Wally Pfister, director of photography for The Dark Knight and Inception, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who directed Babel and 21 Grams, and Tony Kaye, who directed American History X.

Since the Meth Project launched in 2006, meth use has declined 65 percent in Arizona, 63 percent in Montana and 52 percent in Idaho -- decreases largely credited to the Project's hard-hitting TV and radio ads.

This year, the campaign spread to the digital world with an interactive website.

To transform the research on meth into messages teens can understand and share, the Project partnered with experts from various national agencies, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They also interviewed hundreds of meth users.

The website is designed to get teens asking questions before they try meth -- questions like, "What is meth mouth?" and "What are crank bugs?" On the "Body by meth" page, users can use tweezers to dissect meth's harmful, even fatal health effects.

"We knew we needed to leverage digital and social media to engage teens in a radical new way," said Nitsa Zuppas, executive director of the Siebel Foundation, which funds the Meth Project. "MethProject.org provides the means to understand the risks of meth and really influence others."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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