Pubdate: Tue, 14 Nov 2006
Source: Anderson Independent-Mail (SC)
Copyright: 2006 Independent Publishing Company, a division of E.W. Scripps
Author: Wayne Morton
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


School students in Northeast Georgia are getting an "up  close and
personal" look at the dangers of  methamphetamine, thanks to a new
program which brings  former addicts into the classrooms.

The Faces of Meth program reaches throughout Northeast  Georgia with a
message - meth is dangerous and deadly.

According to officials, nearly 2 million Americans are  addicted to
meth and one out of every 10 teens becomes  addicted after trying the
drug just once.

"Northeast Georgia is no exception," said Sharon Lee,  director of the
task force. "The addiction rate is 95  percent after one try."

Agents and other law enforcement officials agree that  meth is the No.
1 drug problem in Georgia. Addicts  usually display distorted faces
and rotting teeth.

But in the case of Teresa, a local woman who became  hooked on the
drug as a way to lose weight, her outward  appearance didn't give her
away as a meth addict. She  said she was a loving soccer mom and wife
who took meth  to loose weight and boost her energy level.

She had a friend who introduced her to what is called  the "Jenny
Crank" diet of meth.

"I thought that I could lose the weight and then get  off the drug,
but it didn't work that way," she  recently told a group of students
at Rabun County High  School.

Teresa lost weight, but also lost her family and nearly  lost her

"It got to a point that I no longer had the high and I  became
suicidal," she said. "I feel that God gave me a  second chance to live
and I knew that I could never use  meth again."

She has been clean for more than four years and spends  considerable
time telling anyone who will listen about  the dangers of the drug.

"We know that meth has gotten into a lot of the schools  in our area
and we just want to do all we can to keep  those young and innocent
faces from ever looking like a  meth face," Teresa said.
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