Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jan 2009
Source: Ada Evening News, The (OK)
Copyright: 2009 The Ada Evening News
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Following the success of its 30-minute documentary
last week, Phase Two of Crystal Darkness Oklahoma now begins. On
Monday, campaign officials announced they are looking to raise another
$100,000 to help communities fight methamphetamine in their area.

"We cannot arrest our way out of the methamphetamine epidemic, and
last week, Oklahomans showed they are ready to fix this problem," said
co-chair Wes Lane, president of the Burbridge Foundation. "The good
news is that the enthusiasm for the documentary came from every corner
of Oklahoma. The bad news is that it shows we have a lot of work to
do. The documentary ended with a message of hope, and we want
Oklahomans to keep that with them as they go into their communities to
fight this insidious drug."

Campaign officials announced Monday that $41,620 was raised at a
benefit last week that featured several NFL players, including Dallas
Cowboys star Roy Williams. The benefit was hosted by the
Whitten-Newman Foundation and the money will go toward Phase Two.

Phase Two is a comprehensive approach that involves statewide drug
awareness education and training for schools, parents and community
groups, as well as ensuring law enforcement entities continue working
together to suppress and eliminate meth production, trafficking,
distribution and use. Lane said donations to the program are tax
deductible and those wanting to help can visit
or call (405) 949-2400.

The first phase of Crystal Darkness Oklahoma concluded with the airing
of the documentary. Television ratings show that between 1.5 and 2
million Oklahomans last Tuesday watched the documentary, which
portrayed the devastating impact methamphetamine has on Oklahoma
families and communities. It also streamed online. Officials with the
campaign said they plan to distribute the documentary to public
libraries across the state.

Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health
and Substance Abuse Services, said she is thrilled by the attention
generated by the documentary, but even more excited about the
opportunity to partner with communities throughout the state to
develop real solutions to methamphetamine abuse and addiction.

"The devastating effects of untreated addiction have serious
repercussions for our state," White said.

"Throughout Oklahoma, community initiatives are being born to address
this problem head-on, to link people to the services they need to
break the hold of addiction and to implement preventative measures to
rid their communities of the methamphetamine problem."

The documentary aired on a roadblock comprised of more than 20
stations, including one in northern Texas. Oklahomans also viewed the
documentary at more than 280 watch parties in churches, schools and
businesses across the state.

"From living rooms to large arenas, Oklahomans across the entire state
gathered together and joined the fight against methamphetamine," said
First Lady Kim Henry, co-chair of Crystal Darkness Oklahoma. "As
successful as the documentary was, it is only a beginning. Now, the
real fight starts."

Within a few hours of the documentary, seven 211 centers received
about 750 calls requesting treatment and help from law

"The turnout to the watch parties was spectacular," said Darrell
Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous

"Oklahomans rose to the occasion to fight back. We won the first round
of the fight on Tuesday night, but we need to continue the battle
until illicit methamphetamine issues are gone forever."
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