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.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Session focuses on identifying meth use (Nebraska)

By DIANE WETZEL, The North Platte Telegraph

Among the topics presented at a dentistry "continuing education caravan'' in North Platte this week was a session on how to identify problems caused by methamphetamine use.
"Not everyone with bombed out teeth is a meth user," said Jim Jenkins, dentist and faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. "Meth mouths will turn up in your practice, and it is important to known what to watch for."
The scourge of methamphetamine fills courts and jails, fills the foster care system, and places a heavy burden on Medicaid.
It can also lead to serious dental problems.
Jenkins was in North Platte Tuesday as part of the Continuing Education Caravan, sponsored by the dental college.
"Meth use leads to incredibly large caries on every tooth, along with periodontal problems, and dry mouth," Jenkins said. "Lack of care is the number one reason for meth mouth, plus the fact that meth users want to prolong the high and tend to drink large amounts of soda pop. They want the sugar and caffeine buzz."
Often in the case of meth mouth, full dentures are the only remedy, Jenkins said.
"And Medicaid pays for it," Jenkins said.
Area dentists and dental hygienists attending the workshop received continuing education hours as part of the dental college's public service program.
"We do this every year," said John Reinhardt, dead of the college. "It's an opportunity to provide updates on what is new."
The caravan moved on to Scottsbluff and Grand Island later in the week.
"We reach between 300 and 400 dentists and dental hygienists," Reinhardt said.
Lack of access to care is a problem in rural Nebraska, Reinhardt said. Medicaid patients often have trouble finding a dentist.
"Our graduating class this year has graduates who plan to practice in Cozad, Alma and Overton," Reinhardt said.
Twice a year, students at the college participate in Children's Dental Day, which provides free dental care to children in the western part of the state.
"Our students are going to have lucrative practices," Reinhardt said. "It is also important that we instill a new ethic, stressing the importance of giving back."
Students will participate in the second Mission of Mercy to be held in September in Grand Island.
"We didn't participate in the first one," Reinhardt said. "We wanted to see how it went."
The first Mission of Mercy held in North Platte in October 2005, sponsored by the Nebraska Dental Association, provided an estimated $356,750 in dental care to 900 patients.
In addition to Jenkins, Fouad Salama of the dental college spoke on pediatric dentistry.
"We are seeing 3-year olds with teeth destroyed," Reinhardt said. "Now we are recommending parents bring in their child for their first examination between the ages of 1 to 2."


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