With the release of its "It's a Fact - Meth is Our Problem" DVD in December of 2006, Placer County formally launched its methamphetamine awareness campaign. Produced by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) with guidance from Placer County Supervisors Jim Holmes and Bruce Kranz, Sheriff Ed Bonner and HHS Director Dr. Richard J. Burton, the DVD put a local perspective on “meth” abuse in the county.
As a result of the awareness generated by the release of the DVD, many local substance abuse prevention and education projects and groups have come into existence. In the next few months, there will be several more activities taking place. While the focus of the DVD was methamphetamine, many of the newly formed groups are addressing not only methamphetamine use, but the use and abuse of other substances as well.
The DVD was distributed to community members at forums in Lincoln, Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin and North Lake Tahoe. The DVD was provided to the media, schools, websites, and community newsletters and is still available as a DVD and online (see below for contact information).
Other activities related to substance abuse prevention in Placer County include:
- The Placer County Sheriffs Office and the Placer County HHS Substance Abuse Prevention unit will hold a sixth Community Town Hall Forum at the Del Oro High School Theater in Loomis on April 2, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
- The five community action groups in Lincoln, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn, and Granite Bay have worked individually and collaboratively on substance abuse issues and are focusing on the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" and the "Placer County Responsible Parent Host Pledge" campaigns. Both address teen alcohol use. These two campaigns will be officially launched in April, 2008.
- There will be a “Methamphetamine Update” by Dr. Alex Stalcup, a physician certified in addiction medicine, on April 24, 2008, in Auburn. Dr. Stalcup will provide information to law enforcement, treatment providers, family members and the community on the treatment of methamphetamine addiction.
- The HHS Friday Night Live Partnership commissioned four youth-developed meth and prescription drug abuse DVDs, which will be available for distribution in May 2008.
- Between January 2007 and May 2007, five community meth forums were held. The forums increased awareness, discussed solutions and united community members in a common effort to combat substance abuse. Additionally, Granite Bay High School hosted a school-based community forum.
- The Placer Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board and the Placer Substance Abuse Prevention Unit have collaborated to reduce substance abuse effects in Placer County.
- Partnerships have been formed between all local law enforcement agencies, the HHS Substance Abuse Prevention unit and the community action groups to focus on the “Parents Who Host” campaign. These groups are working on a campaign that will be released before prom and graduation seasons.
- The Substance Abuse Prevention unit continues to work with Nevada County on substance abuse prevention activities and most recently has included the neighboring county in the “Parent Who Host” campaign.
- In the last fiscal year, 1,500 persons received help with addiction in Placer County programs. Almost 40 percent of those who sought treatment had a problem with methamphetamine.
Like most of California, meth use is widespread in Placer County. An estimated 85 percent to 90 percent of the county’s child welfare cases can be related to parental substance abuse and meth is most often the drug of choice. About 73 percent of local meth users began using this drug prior to age 22.
Meth is a white, odorless, and bitter-tasting crystalline powder, readily soluble in water or alcohol. It comes in many forms and can be smoked, snorted, injected or orally ingested. Meth is readily available and inexpensive with potent neurological effects that can cause addiction the first time it is used.
Meth use costs everyone due to increased medical care costs, lost productivity, increased crime, family devastation and loss of community.
Meth is highly addictive. Its chemical effects on the brain trick the body into believing it has unlimited energy.
Meth reduces the level of chemicals produced by the brain that cause feelings of pleasure. When a user stops taking meth, the brain is unable to function normally for a period of days, weeks or even months.
If you or someone you know needs help with methamphetamine problems, you can call the |Placer County toll-free number: 1-888-886-5401. In the Auburn area, call 530-886-2926. In the South Placer area, call: 916-787-8944.
Individuals or groups interested in starting or participating in a community action group or obtaining a DVD should contact Shari Crow at HHS (530-889-7238). The DVD is available online at: http://placer.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=3 .Those interested in attending the “Methamphetamine Update” presentation should contact Carol Baker at HHS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-889-7115.