Havre Daily News
Monday will be a day of discussion and training on the methamphetamine problem in Havre and Hill County.
The day will culminate with a community forum in the Havre High School auditorium at 7 p.m.
Speakers at the forum will include director of the Montana Meth Project Peg Shea and Kathy Woodward from the Yellowstone City-County Health Department. Hill County Attorney Cyndee Peterson will serve as the master of ceremonies.
Shea said she will discuss the history of the meth project, present the results surveys done by the project about the impact of the ads on meth use and show the project's new crop of ads.
The Montana Meth Project includes a series of graphic television and radio commercials about the devastating impacts methamphetamine has on users and their communities.
Shea has traveled the state getting feedback from students, teachers and parents. She said she primarily gets positive reactions from students but has heard comments from parents who think the ads are too graphic.
The ads need to be graphic because that is the reality of the drug's effects, said Hill County Commissioner Doug Kaercher, who helped organize Monday's meetings. Kaercher also has been making presentations on meth and its impacts for local groups and organizations.
“People don't think it's an issue here but it is,” he said. “We know of meth use in children as young as 9 in Hill County.”
Prevention and awareness are the best ways to combat the use of meth, Kaercher said.
“Meth addiction and use is becoming an extreme cost to our community through not only treatment but through clean up of meth labs and other crimes for addicts to get their needs,” Kaercher said. The impacts include increased foster care and domestic abuse cases, he added.
“This is probably the No. 1 drug concern for Hill County,” Kaercher said.
Havre Public Schools will host training for Hi-Line health and physical education teachers, counselors and administrators from 8 a.m. to noon. Montana State University-Hill County extension agent Jennifer Wells also will participate in the training. Wells will present a “meth tool kit,” which includes lesson plans on meth and meth-related issues and informative handouts. Each Havre school will have a tool kit.
Student assemblies will be held throughout the day at Havre High School.
A presentation open to all school staff members will start at 4 p.m. in the HHS auditorium. After the presentation, staff will discuss local efforts in the fight against meth and its use, Havre Public Schools superintendent Kirk Miller said.
The images shown and the graphic nature of the discussions at the community meeting may not be appropriate for those under the age of 13.