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, May 25, 2006

Early Drug Addiction (Nebraska)

The Faces of Meth
Meth being used by teens

A new effort is under way that sheds a new light on "faces of meth" and the faces of death. The new push targets children.

Angela Fatino of Iowa died at the age of 15 after using meth for less than three years. At 15, Angela's face had already deteriorated and her life had done the same.

By showing teens the effects that meth has on someone's appearance, people involved with an anti-meth campaign hope that children will not choose a life involving the deadly and ugly drug.

"You don't even realize what you're doing when you're in what I call, I call it a game, because you're playing Russian Roulette with your life," said Caryn Cunningham, recovering meth addict.

The effects of meth really hit home for Caryn and she knew the game all too well.

"A horrible person, I'd lie, cheat, steal," said Cunningham. "I didn't want to face reality; I didn't want to deal with my problems."

A new anti-meth campaign in Iowa and Nebraska is targeting teens and is trying to reach them before they try the drug at a young age like Caryn had done. This campaign is all about showing teens what meth will do to your appearance as well as your body.

"I would say the youngest I've heard is 11, and then I would say more 13, frequently by the age 13 they have started to experiment with it," said Marilyn Starke, Heartland Family Services.

Starke says parents need to talk to their children at an early age and they need to make sure they get all the facts included.

"If I'm only hearing on the street with my friends the benefits to a drug, and I'm never really being able to experience that negative, then that becomes a problem."

Caryn is still working to conquer after years of problems. She knows what meth will do to you where it will take you.

"Just imagine everything you've got now, your friends, your family, any possession you've got, any money you have, any life you think you're going to lead, imagine that it's not going to be there," said Cunningham. "Picture yourself in a box, in a room, with nothing."

Experts say simply talking to children about drugs and what they do will reduce their chances of using those drugs by 50 percent.


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