Face2Face Computer Program Shows Kids Consequences of Meth Use

For one thing, the program is not given to kids by Allman, but by Maureen Wattenburger, who was hired by the county to do just teach it.

"It doesn't seem to me when I'm speaking with them about the consequences ... I don't tend to get any flack with them," said Wattenburger, explaining this is because she is young (30), looks younger and is not a police officer.

Also, she said, the photo typically generates interest that teenagers will tell their friends about.

"Other kids are getting out the word as much as we are getting out the word about being there," Wattenburger said.

She explained that at a fair, typically a few teenagers will come to the trailer where they do their program, and they will take the photo, which is printed out for them, and soon a line of 10-20 kids will form.

While the photo takes several minutes to change and show possible meth use effects, that time is used to talk to the kids about the actual physiological effects of meth.

In the end, Allman said, it is important for parents to learn more about meth as well, so they can spot signs if their kids are using it.

While he gives parents a video and a drug testing kit, he said the video explains the kit is to be used more as a deterrent, to let the child know that they could be tested.

Parents, he said, need to have a dialogue with their kids about drug use and be informed so they actually know about the effects of narcotics, since meth is far different from the drugs available years ago.

While he praised steps taken by police and government in past years, such as restricting sales of the cold medication pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make meth, Allman said reductions in drug use will plateau without parents' help.

"Law enforcement and government is not the answer to rampant drug use," he said.

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