Ga. Meth Project and Phoebe Team UpFebruary 23, 2012 - WALB-TV
ALBANY, GA - The Georgia Meth Project is teaming with Phoebe Putney Hospital to teach you about the dangers of meth. They hope to stop the growth of the costly drug problem. They'll host a forum next week to get the community involved in the fight against meth.
You have seen those hard hitting commercials warning teens not to try meth, not even once. Those are from the Georgia Meth Project, and now they are teaming with Phoebe to slow a growing meth problem in Southwest Georgia.
Georgia Meth Project leaders say they are trying to head off a frightening drug problem-- one they see growing in this region of the state.
"We have a big problem among young people, ages 12 to 17, trying meth for the first time," said Georgia Meth Project Program Manager Latrina Patrick.
They know many teens will experiment with smoking, drinking, marijuana, but they warn Georgians that meth is not something to experiment with.
"Honestly the majority of people who try meth are instantly addicted. It has that type of effect on people. It's like 4 to 5 times more addictive than cocaine," Patrick said.
Phoebe Putney Hospital officials say they are learning the frightening aspects of meth from patients showing up in their emergency rooms.
"It's so new. The burns associated with it. The addiction consequence associated with it. The impact that it has on the families. It's a growing consequence that we are beginning to be more and more familiar with," said Community Benefits Director Darrell Sabbs.
Meth abuse costs Georgia an estimated $1.3 billion a year, much of it fighting crime, treating victims of the addiction, or injured by meth labs, and most tragic, caring for kids abandoned by parents on meth.
"You are looking at 40 and in some places 60 percent of the child placement services are related primarily to meth," Patrick said.
Wednesday February 29 Phoebe and the Georgia Meth Project will host a community forum to teach about the dangers of meth, and get South Georgia involved in stopping its growth. It's the first step trying to keep the number one drug related crime problem in the United States, from skyrocketing in South Georgia.
The Georgia Meth Project Forum will be held February 29th at Phoebe Northwest on Dawson Road, from 6 until 7:30. Schools and law enforcement experts will be there, to get South Georgians working together to keep meth out.
The Georgia Meth Project is a non-profit organization with a $4 million budget now starting its second year.