This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sullivan students getting cold, hard facts about methamphetamine (Tennessee)


Kingsport, Tennessee
BLOUNTVILLE - "It kills your soul, and once your soul's gone, what do you have?''

And one time is all it takes.

That's the message that resonated with Sullivan Central senior Brett Hyder as he and his classmates got an honest and sometimes shocking look at methamphetamine.

"I think, like he said, that most everybody knows somebody who's been exposed to it or knows someone who has," Hyder said.

"I know I had no idea about some of those things - that you take it one time and ‘Boom! That's it,' that there's no leading into it. That will motivate me to talk to my friends and people I know about it and how dangerous it is."

Hyder and other juniors and seniors at Central heard powerful messages about the prevalence and the dangers of the drug from Sullivan County District Attorney Greeley Wells and Assistant District Attorney Gene Perrin as the statewide "Meth Destroys" campaign rolled into Blountville on Wednesday.

Wells and Perrin are taking the message to all of the county's middle and high schools as part of a statewide education campaign initiated by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and funded by a grant from Gov. Phil Bredesen's office. Supplemental curriculum materials have also been distributed through the state Department of Education for use in Tennessee classrooms.

"Our goal is to present it to all of the high school and middle school students throughout the state, and that's what we're doing right now," Wells said.

The presentation includes a stirring video featuring short yet powerful messages from four recovering meth addicts - who speak frankly about the drug's effect on them, their family and their lives. The interviews are interspersed with facts and statistics, photographs and visual effects that paint a clear picture of the drug's dangers.

"I thought they brought it across in a fantastic way. I think they did come down to a level that we understood very easily and laid it out there truthfully," Hyder said. "All the examples were just real-life examples of what had happened."

Most people know by now that meth is manufactured by using heat (usually propane gas) and various chemicals to break down ephedrine and pseudoephedrine - the main ingredients in many sinus medicines. What many people don't know are the other ingredients or chemicals used to make up this "toxic cocktail."

"Basically, it's a witches brew of poisons you wouldn't even consider opening up and swallowing," the video states.

The shopping list includes battery acid, lye, nail polish remover, and rubbing alcohol among other things.

"We're here because methamphetamine is undoubtedly the most dangerous drug this country has ever run across," Wells told the students.

The statistics speak for themselves.

In 1999, there were 135 meth labs seized by law enforcement officers across the state of Tennessee. By 2003, it had jumped all the way up to 1,005 labs. And, in 2004, it made another huge jump up to 1,574. That same year, the Department of Children's Services removed 750 children from homes where meth was being manufactured or had been.

"With meth, there's only three things you can do about it. Either be locked up for doing it, sober up from doing it, or be covered up from doing it," recovering addict Gerath Bradley said in the video.

"I've done been locked up. I'm trying to sober up. I don't want to be covered up," he said.

The drug is so addictive, Wells told students, that one time - one use, one hit - is all it takes.

"This is an effort to ensure that you don't take it the first time because statistics show that 99 percent of people that take methamphetamine become addicted to it after taking it the first time," Wells said.

"Not the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth. They become addicted after the first time," he stressed.

And while most people are familiar with the rotting teeth, the campaign illustrates how it destroys the body in many ways.

The brain damage, Perrin and Wells explained, lasts for years - even after the user has stopped. The skin becomes dry and gray. Many users experience the sensation of bugs crawling under their skin. Often, they'll scratch and pick at the "bugs" until scabs develop. When they need a fix, they'll sometimes eat the scabs.

The paranoia, described in the video, can be devastatingly dangerous not only to the user but his or her family as well.

And while the statewide education campaign isn't designed to scare students, Wells said its goal is to present the truth, which he concedes is "frightening," and to prevent students from ever trying methamphetamine the first time.

"They'll give it to you for free (the first time) because they know that after you do it you'll come back the next day with money, and the next week and the next month," Perrin told students.

And the dangers aren't limited to the users either, Wells and Perrin stressed. The manufacturing process can produce deadly fumes, toxic residue and massive explosions that pose a serious danger to anyone in the vicinity at the time or afterward.

Perrin spoke of children whose feet have been burned from the residues left in the carpet or on the floors from the cook. Wells told of a small child taken from the home of a local man arrested for manufacturing meth who couldn't remember when she had last eaten a meal.

"The people who are addicted to it don't care about eating. They don't care about taking care of their children. They don't care about the dangers that they pose to anyone else who would be in the vicinity of an explosion if one of these things blow up, as they often do. They are only concerned with fulfilling their craving for methamphetamine," Wells said.

Perrin explained the legal penalties associated with the sale, possession or manufacturing of methamphetamine and how seriously authorities take it.

"We've come to talk to you here in your school because we care about you. You come to Blountville, to our court, charged with a crime involving methamphetamine, I no longer care about you. I care about society and protecting society from you," he said.

For more information about the Meth Destroys campaign visit And if you have a problem with meth or know someone who does, call the toll-free statewide hotline at 1-800-889-9789 for information about finding help in your area.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just wonder if thats the same GERATH BRADLEY that KILLED jeremy bechtal over meth! is this methhead from sparta? pretty sure after he bragged about killing both jeremy and erin sims nothing was ever done about it! may he rott in hell, unless i can get to him first

Thursday, March 15, 2007 12:12:00 AM  

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