Pubdate: Sat, 21 Apr 2007
Source: Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Copyright: 2007 Tucson Citizen
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


An advertising blitz airing in Arizona since Wednesday  is graphic 
enough to make you sick, but not nearly as  sick as methamphetamines 
would make you.

Unlike most drugs, meth hooks its users hard with just  one try.

Then the addicts evolve into crazy, ugly, violent  criminals. Trendy, eh?

Also different from other street drugs, meth's hideous  effects don't 
stop with the user.

The manufacturing of meth contaminates carpets, walls,  ceilings, 
water supplies, even the land on which you're  walking.

And because meth users tend to be a fairly mobile  population, 
there's no telling whether that vehicle or  dwelling you just bought 
or leased has been marinating  in toxic meth components.

Children of meth addicts are exposed to these poisons,  making them 
very sick. They're usually neglected and  abused as well by addicted 
parents and family  "friends."

A study by Child Protective Services found that meth  was a factor in 
at least 65 percent of the reported  abuse and neglect cases.

As if serious harm to children and environmental  contamination 
weren't enough, meth also is linked to  the vast majority of property 
crimes, identity and  vehicle thefts and many other crimes - 
especially in  southern Arizona, a primary pipeline for meth imported 
from "superlabs" in Mexico.

But wait. It gets worse. Meth also can be made  inexpensively in 
hotel rooms, kitchens, even out of a  car trunk, using easily 
obtained ingredients such as  car battery acid and allergy medications.

So meth doesn't only destroy its users, their families,  our society 
and our environment.

It also does so in the most insidious manner  imaginable, remaining 
largely invisible to all but the  most savvy observers.

So while the new commercials being aired by the Arizona  Meth Project 
are horrifying, they aren't nearly as  terrifying as the drug use 
they seek to thwart.

Such ads worked well for the Montana Meth Project,  where the drug's 
use has begun to dwindle.

If the ads can persuade Arizona youngsters that "not  even once" is 
the only approach to take with meth, then  they will be well worth 
the shock value.

The new commercials also surely will spur some dinner  table 
conversations among families confronted with the  atrocious reality 
of this most hideous drug.

Ten counties compose the new Arizona Meth Project, with  support from 
the Legislature and Attorney General's  Office.

In Pima County, the Meth-Free Alliance was launched in  2005 as 
community leaders, law enforcement officials  and residents 
recognized the dire threat posed in our  area.

While baby boomers chuckle at memories of the  exaggerated "Reefer 
Madness" propaganda film, anyone  who knows a meth addict these days 
also knows that the  new ad campaign - albeit shocking - is almost an 

The destruction wrought by this drug defies all  preconceived notions.

So if you know someone who wants to try it "just once,"  assure them 
the only smart choice is "not even  once."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom