Meth film to make citizens more aware (Alabama)
By George Jones
Published June 6, 2006
“Everything you’re seeing done here today is all free. No one is being paid a dime. Everybody is doing this on a volunteer basis. It is an incredible collaboration of law enforcement, fire, DHR and the Marshall County Court Referrals Department [MCCRD],” said Drug Free Marshall County, [DFMC] Program Director, Wes Gallant.
Gallant was speaking about the effort Friday by members of the Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit [MDDEU], MCDHR, MCCRD, DFMC, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama ABC Board, Macedonia Volunteer Fire Department and Charter Communications of Albertville, as well as several individuals who volunteered their time as actors to produce a public service announcement commercial for DFMC.
Angela Sparks with the MCCRD said the film is being produced to “…bring awareness to the public concerning drug endangered children.”
Following a search for an appropriate location and house to be used in the filming a house in Jackson County owned by Randy Haynes was chosen.
The interior of the house was made to represent the typical interior of a residential methamphetamine lab.
Actors portrayed the mother, father and four children ranging from a newborn, a 2-year old, a 9-year old and an 11-year old.
The scenario involves a realistic raid and arrests by MCDEU and other law enforcement agencies of the parents, and placing the children in the protective custody of the MCDHR.
As a poignant reminder of the dangers and potentially lethal results associated with chemical methamphetamine labs in a residential setting, the house was blown up.
Sparks re-emphasized the point of the PSA is to demonstrate “…the chemicals involved in the meth lab pose a serious danger to the public and the children who are exposed to those chemicals.”
Sparks said, while she didn’t have figures for the surrounding counties, “…in Marshall County alone several hundred children are exposed to methamphetamine, the chemicals and the labs. We want to make the public aware of the situation so we can protect those smallest victims.”
The long term effects of exposure to this drug and the activities surrounding it have, according to Sparks, “Yet to be determined, but I think the future will hold those answers for us.”
Gallant praised Sparks’ ability to pull all the agencies involved together to produce the film at no cost to the county.
Two PSA commercials will result from the filming, Sparks said.
One will be geared directly towards drug endangered children, while the other will be directed at the hazards surrounding meth labs,” she said.
Sparks expects the PSAs should begin airing on Charter Cable TV in Marshall County within the next six weeks.
All the law enforcement members involved in Friday’s filming expressed their appreciation for everybody’s involvement in getting the message across to the public about the dangers of methamphetamine, especially to children.