August 19 Drug Story Shocks Classrooms

August 24, 2005
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If your middle school student didn’t know the street names for methamphetamine, Melissa Knowles, Channel One anchor will make sure he or she learns them.

All these pictures are from Channel One’s feed to middle school students. Some in the audience are as young as ten. Students are shown the various ways that meth is ingested. On one hand they are trying to scare students by always mentioning that even one use of a drug can possibly kill a person, but on the other hand drugs are made to look cool and very “doable”.

Channel One News normalizes the use of drugs by telling students the large number of people, including their peers who use or have used drugs.

(Beginning of Meth story) Obligation’s comments are in blue.
[INTRO METH]
MELISSA: SPEED, ICE, CRYSTAL, CRANK … THESE ARE SOME OF THE STREET NAMES FOR

Hold on, Melissa. What is the purpose of rattling off the street names for this drug? Is it for shock value? To get the children to turn to the TV set? Doesn’t this make the drug seem cool when it isn’t? Is the purpose to make you, the anchor, “hip” and “with it”.

METHAMPHETAMINE, A DRUG THAT, WITHIN THE PAST FEW YEARS, HAS SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE ACROSS THE NATION. BUT NOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ANNOUNCED NEW INITIATIVES TO COMBAT THE EPIDEMIC.

MELISSA: MORE THAN 12 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE TRIED METHAMPHETAMINE — ONE AND A HALF MILLION ARE REGULAR USERS.

This is typical Channel One. They emphasize how many millions of common people do drugs or drink. Students are amazed that so many people use drugs. A child who is forced to watch Channel One is told over and over that their peer group is drinking a lot and doing a lot of drugs. This is simply demoralizing to many young people. Channel One News has been officially criticized by the Office for National Drug Control Policy for running stories that inflated the perceived norm for use of marijuana. (Note to Channel One’s attorney: Don’t even think about writing us a threatening letter challenging this, we have a copy of the ONDCP letter to your firm.)

When Channel One producers wrote this script, why was it important to tell children that 1,500,000 people are “regular users”? What message does that send? Obviously, one can use meth on a regular basis and go about your life.

MARY HOLLY, M.D. — MOTHERS AGAINST METH FOUNDER: HE WAS PARANOID, HE WAS DEPRESSED, HE WAS HALLUCINATING.

MELISSA: METH ADDICTION KILLED DOCTOR MARY HOLLY’S BROTHER AND IT’S DESTROYED COUNTLESS LIVES.

MAN: ONCE YOU’VE USED IT FOR A FEW MONTHS, THAT’S WHEN IT REALLY HAS YOU, BECAUSE YOU GET TO WHERE YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT JUST TO GET OUT OF BED.

Young people, unfortunately, have an irrational sense of immortality. “Sure someone can die of this or that, but not me.” Here you have a man being interviewed that tells kids that it takes a “few months” before you get really hooked on meth. Parents who allow Channel One to continue in their child’s classroom are doing their kids a disservice.

MELISSA: SUBURBAN METH LABS LIKE THIS ONE CAN BE FOUND IN ALL 50 STATES, AND IN A SURVEY OF 500 LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, MORE THAN HALF SAID METH IS THE NUMBER ONE DRUG THAT THEY BATTLE. NOW, TO HELP FIGHT THE EPIDEMIC, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED A MULTI-PRONGED STRATEGY WHICH WILL DIRECT U-S ATTORNEYS TO MAKE METH PROSECUTIONS A HIGHER PRIORITY, FUND A MEDIA CAMPAIGN ABOUT THE DANGERS OF METH AND INCREASE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR TREATMENT FOR METH ADDICTS.

Guess who will make a killing off this new funding for a “media campaign”? Channel One News with the help of its lobbyists will convince the government to keep sending money to Channel One to run its anti-drug PSAs. Channel One’s fat cat executives will line their pockets with our tax money as they play both sides of the drug and alcohol problem with our youth. Will Channel One quit advertising movies that promote youth drug use and alcohol abuse? We don’t think so. That makes them money too. Channel One has too long a history of sending irresponsible messages about drugs and alcohol use to think they will soon change.

MIKE LEAVITT — SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: IT IS IN FACT PREVENTABLE, IT IS IN FACT TREATABLE. THERE IS HOPE HERE, AND WE NEED TO SEIZE UPON IT.

[TAG METH] MELISSA: SEVERAL STATES HAVE ALREADY TAKEN ONE STEP TOWARD REDUCING METH USE. THEY’VE ORDERED DRUG STORES TO MAKE IT HARDER TO BUY OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINES THAT ARE USED TO MAKE METH.

(end of Meth story}

 

Here children are shown how the drug is prepared
using a razor blade.