Pubdate: Wed, 24 Oct 2001
Source: Commercial Appeal (TN)
Copyright: 2001 The Commercial Appeal
Author: Alex Breitler (Redding Record Searchlight)


As drug-related arrests continue to drop in Shasta County, officials are 
launching an aggressive campaign to educate more people about 
methamphetamine and its effects.

A revamped Web site, two billboards, posters and public service 
announcements highlight the fresh approach, Shasta County District Attorney 
McGregor Scott said Tuesday.

"We want people to know the realities of the drug," said Scott, who 
spearheaded the Shasta County Methamphetamine Task Force.

And the new message is clear through striking, sometimes disturbing displays.

"That smell next door can kill you ... This is meth," reads a model for one 
of the billboards.

"Fever, paranoia, convulsions, panic, depression ... did we mention death?" 
reads a poster picturing a woman clutching her head in agony.

The billboards will be placed along Interstate 5. The posters will be 
distributed to businesses and schools. About 10,000 envelope stuffers will 
be offered to businesses for distribution with employees' paychecks. And 
another 1,000 bookmarks promoting the Web site are being produced.

All express the new theme: "This is meth."

"We did feel a need to come up with a new theme to make sure our message is 
not being forgotten or ignored," said Frank Strazzarino, president and 
chief executive of the Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce.

The Web site, meanwhile, now includes facts and statistics about meth, the 
task force's first annual report, a sample drug policy for businesses and a 
list of drug treatment programs, among other information.

The new publicity is a plus, Strazzarino said.

"I think what it projects is an extremely positive effort to address a 
community problem," he said. "We don't want to be in denial. We don't want 
to cover up the fact that we have above-average drug use in our community."
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