10 day meth awareness program begins in Michiana communities - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

10 day meth awareness program begins in Michiana communities

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Leaders in Marshall, Fulton, and Starke Counties have joined forces to fight the local meth problem.  Sunday night, they kicked off their latest effort to put an end to it.

A former meth addict is now in the area and he'll spend the next 10 days visiting over seven thousand students at 14 schools.  He'll be explaining to them and showing them the dangers of the drug.  Sunday night he gave his presentation to the general public.

David Parnell was addicted to drugs for 23 years.  In 2003 he shot himself because he thought his family would be better off without him.  The incident left his face permanently disfigured.  He said when he woke up in the hospital three days later he realized he wanted to tell people the truth about drugs.  He said educating kids about meth is the best form of prevention because if we don't someone else will lie to get the kids to buy and use drugs.  Parnell knows this from experience.  "I used to sell high school students drugs and I remember telling them before 'oh that stuff won't hurt you it'll just make you feel good' and the truth is it's poison," said Parnell.

Parnell's presentation is very graphic.  He shows pictures of what meth does to a person's body and pictures of kids who have been abused because their parents are meth addicts.

The organizer of this event and the organizers from each county for this anti meth effort told me having a graphic message is the best way to get it across.  "Because it's real. He's not making it up...this is reality.  So many people want to bury their heads in the sand or say that it's not that big of an issue, however, it is such a huge issue," said Event Organizer Teri White.

White said one in four people is affected by meth.  She said it affects the entire community and anyone who says it doesn't is just kidding themselves.

Marshall County will have a public meth awareness presentation Wednesday October 23rd at Christos Banquet Hall at 6:30 p.m. And Starke County will have one Tuesday October 29th at the Nancy Dembowski Community Center at 6 p.m.

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