Placer Countyformally launched a methamphetamine-awareness campaign, releasing its long-awaited, locally produced DVD titled “It’s a Fact: Meth is Our Problem.” Targeted primarily at adults, the video is being distributed to the media, schools, law enforcement agencies, social service providers and community groups.
The DVD features several local young people and adults who describe their struggles with the highly-addictive drug methamphetamine, or “meth” as it’s usually called. Placer County Supervisors Jim Holmes and Bruce Kranz join Sheriff Ed Bonner and Dr. Richard Burton, Placer County Health Officer, in describing the effects of methamphetamine in PlacerCounty.
Leonard Brown, a former meth user, helped to kick off the campaign at the press conference by describing the challenges he faced, and the dangers of meth use.
Meth use is widespread in the nation, including Placer County. In 2004, about 600 local high school youth from 12 to 18 years old admitted to using meth. Among child welfare cases, about 85 to 90 percent are substance abuse-related, with meth use as the primary problem. Meth is one of the most addictive drugs available and one of the most popular drugs among local drug users. Of the 1680 people admitted into substance abuse treatment in Placer Countyin 2004-5, about one in three used meth as their primary drug of choice, more than alcohol.
In Placer County, there are meth users in every community, age and income bracket. Meth use devastates families; leads to increased crime, and adds to the burdens facing law enforcement, jails, emergency rooms and health care systems.
The new Placer County DVDs aim to help prevent meth use, to inform residents of the extent of the meth problem in Placer County, and to highlight resources that are available and actions the community can take to help stop meth use.
The DVDs will be distributed free of charge, particularly for use by schools and community-based organizations. Organizers hope to show the DVD at community meetings and to provide the information through newsletters. Distribution information can be obtained through the Community Health Division of the Health and Human Services Department, on the countyweb site, www.placer.ca.gov.
Community forums are also being planned countywide in cooperation with other local agencies to identify how drug-related behavior affects communities and brainstorm possible solutions. The first, which is sponsored by the Placer County Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Board, will take place in. Lincoln on Thursday, Jan. 11, at McBean Park Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. Sheriff Ed Bonner will be the facilitator and scheduled speakers include Lincoln Police Chief Brian Vizzusi, Dr. Burton, and Christy Crandell, a local resident who authored “Lost & Found,” a book that focuses on preventing drug and alcohol abuse. Youth panelists will also share information. Child care with homework help will be provided. For more information, call 530-889-7238.
Other community forums are scheduled to be held Jan. 23 at Jake’s by the Lake restaurant in Tahoe Cityat 6:30 p.m. and March 21 at Parkside Churchin Auburn.
The county also is working with high school groups in Auburn, Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin, Truckee and Kings Beachto create meth-awareness videos targeted at local youths. A special program to assist pregnant women and new mothers facing drug addiction is also being launched. A special page is being added to the countyweb site. The DVD was produced by Ruth Alves, from the Placer County Board of Supervisors staff, with assistance from Vickie Spannagel and Shari Crow from Placer County Health and Human Services, with DVD production handled by Greg Currier from Placer County Communications.
To obtain a copy of the Placer Countymeth DVD, call Health and Human Services, 530-889-7238.