Methamphetamine addiction recovery in Marshfield, Wisconsin is getting a boost from a public awareness campaign.
The ‘kNOw Meth’ campaign began running online videos throughout the state of Wisconsin this month. The ads inform the public on the dangers of meth abuse through the ‘Altered State’ campaign, which depict physical alterations caused meth. They have established a website and much of the focus started in Wood and Marathon counties, where Marshfield is located.
When people access the website, the first thing that they will see is a 30-second trailer detailing the campaign’s message. There are links on the site describing what meth is and providing information on meth addiction treatment programs as well as prevention efforts.
“They will see a beloved Wisconsin symbol (cheese) being left in an ‘Altered State,’ similar to what happens to a meth user’s body and life when they develop a substance use disorder,” said Kayleigh Mengel, a health educator and team leader at the Center for Community Health Advancement at the Marshfield Clinic Health System. “They will also see alarming statistics specific to Wisconsin and can learn more about the devastating effects.”
Mengel also explained that a Methamphetamine Media Committee was established prior to the kNOw Meth campaign when her clinic along with the Northwoods Coalition (NWC) and the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth were hosts to three NWC seminars that talked about the communities that were affected the most by meth abuse.
The Marshfield Clinic Health System, NWC and the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth teamed up with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to address meth abuse in the state.
The Marshfield Clinic Health System is the biggest health network in Wisconsin with over 12,000 medical providers including over 50 locations in 34 communities in the northern, central and western parts of the state.
“In January 2018, the kNOw Meth Campaign was launched statewide,” she said. “A team consisting of Marshfield Clinic Health System, Wisconsin Department of Justice and Affirm, a marketing agency, met to develop a project brief and decide on the demographics of the campaign. NWC members have been involved throughout the process by providing feedback and their vision for the campaign in their communities.”
There were 1,696 recorded criminal cases where meth was involved in 2017, 128 in Marathon and Wood Counties, according the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory Bureau.
“Meth is being trafficked from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota leaving northwestern Wisconsin as the area that has been hit the hardest. Counties in Central and Eastern Wisconsin have also seen a surge in meth.”
The Marshfield Clinic Health System chose to target the demographics they felt could help improve their efforts the most.
“We could have looked at a campaign for youth,” she stated. “However, we chose to target parents and community members in hopes that they will talk to their children and family members about the risks and dangers of meth use.”
The organizers of the campaign published the Northwoods Coalition kNOw Meth Report, which detailed the plans of the committee. The kNOw Meth Public Awareness Campaign is the first step in their fight against meth.
They intend to use various social media network channels to inform the general public on meth awareness and meth addiction recovery efforts. The committee also intends to keep acquiring data from arrests, seizures and hospitalizations related to meth use.
Some of their awareness goals include using curriculum that could be placed in schools to educate adolescents about meth addiction and meth addiction recovery.
The organizers also intend to enhance the skills of coalition members in dealing with people who need meth addiction recovery.
The report also aims to provide chances for people to take part in activities that help lessen the risk of meth use across Wisconsin. Some of these activities could include substance-free events and work out classes.
“We want to prevent people from using meth and help users seek recovery,” Mengel concluded.