Because meth is the most dangerous and addictive drug on the streets today, the Idaho Meth Project has targeted Blaine County for its family forum, “Not Even Once.”
This free fact exchange will be held Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey. Speakers will include health care and law enforcement professionals with experience around the drug, as well as a former meth user who will share her deeply personal story.
“This isn’t just a bad kid drug—it’s anybody,” said Gina Heideman, executive director of the project, which started in 2008. “Substance abuse is an issue no matter which way you slice it. But with this drug, there is no testing of the waters. It is that addictive. Not everyone will be addicted the first time, but they will be forever changed. And because of the chemical change that occurs in your body, very few people who get clean stay clean.”
Another challenge is finding treatment.
“There is nothing that you can give someone to help with the detoxification process and the funds for state treatment are limited,” Heideman said. “A lot of our volunteers (former users) say going to prison was the best thing that happened because they no longer had access to it.”
Heideman said the distance between use and jail is usually short because the drug removes an individual’s rational thinking.
The Idaho Meth Project’s goal is to be proactive and emphasize abstaining from the drug entirely. This is the first time that the project has held a forum in the Wood River Valley.
“I just hope that people don’t have that head-in-the-sand mentality and that they do come and talk about it because it is all about getting educated,” Heideman said. “And the discussions lead to discussions about other things, although we are not covering every topic under the sun. It’s a great way to start a dialogue with parents and kids.”
For more information, visit www.methproject.org.
Learn more about meth
When: Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m.
Where: Community Campus, Hailey.
Who: Children 10 and older to adults.