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Minnesota Marks "Meth Awareness Day"

November 30, 2006

Moorhead, MN - Today is "National Methamphetamine Awareness Day," a designation by the U.S. Department of Justice to increase awareness of the impact of the drug on people, families and communities. Ellie McCann with the University of Minnesota Extension Service says education and parental involvement are key to addressing the growing abuse problem.

"Parents need to start discussing drug use and their own values with their children at a very, very early age; even pre-school."

In a recent proclamation, President Bush warned of the impact the drug has on users' minds and bodies, and proposes devoting $25 million in next year's budget to fund recovery programs for meth abusers.

McCann says meth adversely affects human physiology in a wide range of ways, causing damage to the central nervous system and changes in behavior, including violence, self-abuse and even illness.

"Methamphetamine can affect body weight, physical activity levels, and can ruin a user's teeth. It can also cause the development of scabs all over the body."

Anti-drug activists want users and potential users to understand that meth is so addictive that some users become hooked on the first try. McCann recommends that parents talk with their kids about the consequences of drugs, and watch their behavior for unexpected changes.

More online at www.usdoj.gov.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN