This year’s Meth Awareness Week campaign, beginning November 30 through December 7th, is the third annual large-scale, targeted meth prevention program of The Partnership at Drug-Free Kids. Since its inception in 2013, Meth Awareness Week focuses on reducing substance abuse. The project’s main objective remains the same, which is to significantly reduce meth +use through provocative public service messaging, public policy and community outreach. This year’s program will again utilize a digital messaging medium and dramatization of the deadly effects of recreational and habitual use of meth. With the ever increasing popularity of social media, sponsors, coordinators and event organizers hope that this will expand the reach and increase awareness of meth use, abuse and addiction.
Steve Pasierb, CEO of the Partnership of Drug-Free Kids commented that while intervention and drug treatment are vital components for recovery and reduces meth abuse, prevention is more effective in limiting the damage caused by use of this drug. For those that have already developed a dependence on the drug, getting into a treatment program as soon as possible is one way to avoid the debilitating and disfiguring effects of this substance.
According to Pasierb, the Meth Awareness Week project presents a great opportunity to engage all sections of society to help prevent teen and young adults from even experimenting with Meth in the first place. States such as Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have also partnered with the Partnership of Drug-Free Kids in support of the life-saving outcomes that the Meth Awareness Week program hope to achieve.
The theme of Meth Awareness Week for 2015 is “Raise the Volume”. It was designed to motivate mass participation in this project. It is also hoped that communities all across the nation will get even more involved this year in the various local events and social media campaigns than before. Even more important, is that more teens and young adult will amplify the message by opting out of meth use altogether as well as be actively involved in motivating their peers to do the same.
Dangers of Meth
Methamphetamine (METH) is described by both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as a potent, highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. Recreational use of this drug has been promoted for its euphoric effects and the drug’s ability to initially increase energy and mental alertness. However, the dangers of using this drug include addiction, aggression, violent behavior, psychotic or facial disfigurement, paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, homicidal and or suicidal thoughts. Studies also indicate that neurological damage caused by habitual use of this drug have been shown to be irreversible in some instances. Damage to dopamine-producing cells in some research outcomes has been as much as 50% based on chronic use of even low doses of this drug.
Other adverse reactions to meth abuse may include:
- Critical damage to organs and the circulatory system.
- Dangerous spikes in temperature or Hyperthermia,
- Extremely high blood pressure.
- Kidney and liver failure
- Heart attack
- Suicide attempt
- Overdose deaths
There has also been a steady increase in emergency room visits related to the use of meth since 2007 according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network which is a national public health surveillance system. Records from the Treatment Episode Data have also reported that there has been over 100,000 admissions to treatment facilities nationally for meth abuse. The staggering cost of Meth abuse in the United States is approximately $48 billion annually according to estimates by RAND; a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization with an objective to develop through research and analysis, effective solutions to advance public and community safety.
Based on these and other records and according to the U.S. Department of Justice, meth use presents one of the greatest drug threats to the citizens of this country. As such, Meth Awareness Week is a major initiative aimed at reducing this threat especially for teens and young adults.
To learn more about events and programs for Meth Awareness Week, visit “The Meth Project” at facebook.com/methproject and Tumblr at tumblr.com/blog/methproject. You may also participate in conversations on Twitter and Instagram by using the hahshtag #MethAwarenessWeek.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.