by Lauren Gard
When a press release from Methpedia.org announcing that Nov. 30 is Meth Awareness Day landed in our inbox, we assumed it was a joke, or at least a very minor event sponsored by the site. It just seemed so darn arbitrary. But it turns out that meth awareness has been proclaimed the cause du jour by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is evidently sick of seeing tweakers fill America's coutrooms. College students in Georgia will receive an e-mail containing "graphic photos of meth users with oozing sores and rotting teeth." But we'll simply share with you evidence of the Express staff doing its part (see photo), and hope you'll be adequately inspired to go out and help stop the methidemic. The full press release after the jump.
Methamphetamine Awareness Day is the first national effort to draw attention to the fight against the production, distribution, and use of methamphetamine. The U.S. Department of Justice is sponsoring the effort and is asking its agencies throughout the federal government to plan activites and events in their communities.
Methamphetamine, also known as meth, crystal meth, ice, glass, or crank, is a debilitating and highly addictive stimulant that acts on the users' central nervous system. Over 12.5 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have tried methamphetamine once in their lifetime, according to the 2004 National Study on Drug Use and Health.
"Methamphetamine is destroying families and communities across the United States," said Jim Copple, founder and CEO of Methpedia.org. "Its impact is widespread, but national awareness of methamphetamine use is still lacking. Our hope is that with education and programs such as National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, the public will increase its awareness and work with education, public health and law enforcement officials to curb and eventually eliminate the drug. The emerging methamphetamine epidemic must be stopped."
Methpedia.org is a fully interactive Web site, providing the most comprehensive information clearinghouse on methamphetamine, including local, state, and national efforts to stop methamphetamine abuse and production.
Statistics on methamphetamine abuse, and information on laws combating abuse, are available state-by-state. Methpedia.org also provides tips on identifying a methamphetamine lab, congressional correspondence and action, education, prevention, and treatment.
Methpedia.org is mobilizing communities to collaborate with local, state and federal officials to address this threat to our children, communities, environment and families. "Now is the time to act and our actions must move beyond a single day of recognition if we are to succeed," said Copple.
Copple asserted that "Methamphetamine is a dangerous and fatal drug, and it affects everyone - from rural to urban to suburban communities. It has no regard for class, race, or gender. Therefore it will take all of us to confront this insidious and highly addictive drug."
For more information on methamphetamines and what you can do in your community to fight its production and abuse, visit http://www.methpedia.org.