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.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Healing Helpers Coalition to sponsor community briefing on meth (Texas)

By EMILY TARAVELLA, The Daily Sentinel

The Healing Helpers Coalition of Deep East Texas will sponsor a community briefing from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at First Christian Church Chapel on the corner of Mound and Park Streets.

The topic is "Meth, Violence and Children ... A Recipe for Disaster."

A panel discussion will be followed by a question/answer session, according to Melanie Richmond, one of the driving forces behind the Healing Helpers Coalition.

The methamphetamine lifestyle is characterized by violence, indiscriminate sexual activity, paranoia, weapons, volatile toxins and other criminal activities, according to the Healing Helpers Web site.

"This lifestyle has claimed the lives of thousands of people addicted to its powerful feelings of euphoria," the Web site states. "Millions of others have had their lives irrevocably changed by the mind-altering substance. However, one victim of methamphetamine that has largely been overlooked, until recently, is the child living in the world of the methamphetamine addict."

Children who live in homes where methamphetamines are used are often abused and neglected, the Web site states.

"The methamphetamine child is often the target of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and criminal activities needed to support the ever demanding chemical addiction," the Web site states. "Children from these homes are often suffering from emotional and physical conditions brought on by recurring trauma, and ingestion of and exposure to toxic, corrosive chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing processes. Providing a regimen of care that meets the complex needs of these children is costly and involves treatment for methamphetamine use, emotional disorders, behavioral conditions and developmental delays."

Prevention efforts are optimal in comparison to a costly treatment regimen that may or may not prove successful in overcoming the addiction, according to the Healing Helpers Web site. Prevention efforts have the potential to keep a child from becoming a victim of the methamphetamine lifestyle.

The Healing Helpers Coalition is working to expose the methamphetamine lifestyle as a life-altering and potentially fatal choice.

The coalition's goal is to prevent methamphetamine and drug abuse, raise awareness about resources for children when other prevention efforts fail, and to aggressively work to break the cycle of methamphetamine and drug abuse caused by those who manufacture, use and sell drugs.

Speakers who will address some of these issues at the upcoming community briefing include the following:

* Dr. Donald Smith, who earned his degree from Southwest School of Medicine in Dallas. His area of expertise is in violence and meth-related violence. He was also a Dallas police officer for 10 years.

* Dr. Sharon Walker, who has her degree in nursing. Her expertise is in sexual assaults and meth.

* Dewayne Cannon, MPO, who is a master police officer and is currently chief of police for the city of DeKalb (a post he has held for five years). Cannon has extensive experience in law enforcement and corrections.

* Professor Jean Storey, MSN, who is a professor of nursing at the Texarkana School of Nursing. Her expertise is in obstetrics and pediatrics.

* Dru Driver, MEd., who is a public school counselor with expertise in drug-endangered children in a school setting.

* Bart Craytor, JD, who is an attorney who received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Craytor also holds a degree in chemistry from OU. He has extensive experience in organic and inorganic chemistry. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

* Stephanie K. Stephens, district attorney for Nacogdoches County, who has been a prosecutor since 1990 and has tried more than 125 felony cases. Many of those involved drugs and/or children.

For information, call 552-9047 or visit

Emily Taravella's e-mail address is


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