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Haslam joins state’s district attorneys to kick off meth awareness campaign

Haslam joins state’s district attorneys to kick off meth awareness campaign

DRESDEN — Gov. Bill Haslam joined District Attorney Tommy Thomas, fellow Tennessee district attorneys and members of their staffs Wednesday in Nashville at an annual training conference to kick off a statewide meth awareness campaign.
Haslam unveiled an educational DVD that has been distributed to public middle and high schools across the state through an ongoing partnership between the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and the Tennessee Department of Education.
The initiative is an extension of the Meth Destroys campaign and follows a successful effort by the DAs earlier this year to pass legislation increasing penalties for producing meth in the presence of a child. The legislature also created a statewide electronic system for tracking the purchase of pseudoephedrine, meth’s main ingredient.
Methamphetamines have ravaged the state for years, and in 2005 the DAs addressed the problem with a campaign that graphically described the drug’s deadly effects. With the recent proliferation of a new meth-making technique, the drug has come back with a vengeance. “One-pot” meth labs, which are small and mobile, help “smurfers” circumvent previous years’ efforts by law enforcement to curb meth production by limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine. Smurfers go from pharmacy to pharmacy in quick succession to accumulate the drug’s ingredients for meth cooks.
“While meth production continues to evolve, our law enforcement community is changing with the problem,” said Haslam. “Education is key to stopping meth, and by taking this information into each and every school district in Tennessee, our DAs are showing that this state’s dedication to opposing meth and all of its perils will not falter.”
The Meth Destroys DVD features gripping stories of actual Tennesseans whose lives have been devastated by meth. The video contains information about the dangers of meth, the legal consequences of smurfing and updates about the stiffened penalties and soon-to-be-implemented statewide pseudoephedrine-tracking system.
“We are working hard to reverse the increase in methamphetamine production. This drug has devastating effects, and the consequences of supplying meth cooks with pseudoephedrine can be life-changing, too,” said Thomas. “Young Tennesseans have a choice — this education initiative will help them choose to fight against methamphetamine.”
For more information about Meth Destroys or to schedule a presentation for your school or organization, contact Thomas at (731) 364-5513 or tathomas@tndagc.org.

Published in The Messenger 10.21.11

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