Community Voices for Meth Awareness


Eureka, CA, 2004

Community Voices for Meth Awareness

In response to Humboldt County, California's number one public health problem, methamphetamine use, KEET-TV created a much-needed prevention and awareness outreach campaign. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that causes a serious threat to the user, the people around them and the environment. Methamphetamine use and related deaths are higher per capita in Humboldt County than in the rest of California. Most of the homicides and violent domestic abuse in Humboldt County involve methamphetamine. To help to stem the tide of this epidemic in the community, KEET and its partners served as the catalyst to create community dialogue through a public awareness campaign.

The project goals were threefold: to inform adults of the effects of this drug on families, law enforcement, the environment and safety, as well as information on treatment options; to engage youth in creating a countywide awareness and prevention campaign; and to create tools for continued community outreach.

KEET aimed to engage the general public with a documentary, telling the story from all aspects of the issue. This documentary was also screened at a town-hall meeting. To reach youth, KEET worked with project partners at Zoe Barnum Continuation High School, the RAVEN Project and Crossroads/The North Coast Substance Abuse Council. KEET producers helped guide students to create the documentary, discussion guide and public service announcements. Local newspaper coverage announced the first PSA broadcast of June 30 in a profile of the project. The student-produced documentary is being used for countywide school assembly screenings and discussions at area schools. Both documentaries and PSAs are being offered to all local TV stations for broadcast. The project's website has resource information and links to project partners.

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services / Mental Health Branch Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AOD) held monthly meetings of SPAN (Speed Prevention and Awareness Network) with community leaders and concerned citizens since March 2004. The station worked with DHHS AOD to create content for the documentaries, website and discussion guide. DHHS AOD also published and distributed a SPAN II Methamphetamine Fact Book and Resource Guide and provided speakers for screening events.

Lost Coast Communications (LCCI), which owns KHUM-FM and KSLG-FM, created compelling on-air radio programming addressing the methamphetamine problem plaguing the county. With the largest audience of any two stations in Humboldt County, LCCI has the unique ability to complement the work being done by KEET to highlight the damaging impact of methamphetamine on an individual's health, the insidious nature of addiction and the downward spiral created. KHUM's radio documentary, "Picking Up: Meth on the North Coast" swept the Edward R. Murrow Documentary Awards in both the Western region and national categories.

KEET also worked with Zoe Barnum Continuation High School and their drug abuse prevention counselor who provided on-site services and conducted “pull-out” discussion groups for students. KEET producers worked with students in the pull-out groups to create the opportunity for peers to teach peers, and for students to have an impact on the community through the making of a documentary and PSAs. The students also participated as speakers at screening events.


Awards:

KEET-TV Round Four

2007 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Documentary, Small Market Radio

2007 Western regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Documenary, Small Market Radio

$27, 000
— California Endowment's Communities First

$2,000 for a video projection system
—Union Labor Health Foundation (local)

$500 for DVD printing and shipping
—Humboldt Area Foundation