Why do they do it? Why would people send jet-streams of methamphetamine shooting through their veins? You've seen their faces - the before and after faces. The faces of life, all handsome and pretty, followed by the decomposition of facial flesh.
Then comes the Liquid-Plummer effect - what meth does to their insides, from the point of entry to the point of exit, ripping, tearing, breaking down all that is internal. Foaming and cutting like a drain opener. Ugliness outside, and ugliness inside.
You could tell your children what a bunch of losers they will become if they try this oral detergent for degenerates. That might do some good. But maybe you should actually show them. Leading by example is OK, but showing them harrowing pictures and videotape of addicts - preferably ones who actually live in Carson City - will really set off the alarms.
In my view, the schools have just as much responsibility in making this happen as do the parents. The schools - ALL schools - should wallpaper their classrooms with massive posters that tell the tale in graphic visuals. From grades one and up.
Forget the fancy words and the slogans. That's for the parents and for people more interested in winning advertising and marketing awards. It's the kids you have to reach. Kids couldn't care less about what the posters say. But they will stare at the pictures. Maybe even study the pictures.
The more hideously dissolved the faces of the addicts are on the posters, the better. Even more to the point, fill the entire poster with the before and after deterioration of these addicts. The last thing we need is a cute little photo of some cosmetically correct, angelic faced teenager with pleading eyes. Bull! These posters need to rivet like a jack-hammer.
Plaster these posters on the walls of all schools, libraries, gymnasiums, community centers. If important enough, then surround people with the right message. These pictures should be as big as a wall, since the defacing welts and flesh-off-the bone death masks look just that big in their ghoulish parade of a dead man walking cosmetic horror show. Most of the posters and warnings I've seen are directed to the parents. WRONG!
The schools should also devote - make that invest - a class every week on cause, prevention and consequence. Show the kids video recordings of addicts their ages as they descend into hell. Let them know taking meth isn't some MTV or Real World type of crap on sure-shot dating methods. Maybe a date with death, but no one else is gonna wanna touch 'em. Or get near 'em.
In the 1970s, the American Lung Association decided to substitute the word "breath" for the more likely and obvious word "death" in their promotional slogan "It's a matter of life and breath." Why? Because they determined that the people who smoke their lungs inside-out until their inner organs charred were more concerned about how their breath smelled to their lovers than dying!
That's like lying on an ambulance stretcher and wondering if your hair looks OK after you had what little is left of your head nearly torn off in an auto accident. Vanity. Man's inner voice even in the face of death.
So if that's the case, maybe someone should tell the meth users and abusers who DON'T want to listen to reason what they really look like. Absolute, cesspool-submerged, sewer sediment. Might as well tell them that, since it's very clear to me that their lives mean nothing to them.
Maybe the fact that their looks have gone to hell in a kerosene-soaked mask will get their attention. Who'd want to be near 'em? Other losers just like them? Exhumed bodies from two months in the hole look better than meth addicts.
But to the kids who DO want to listen to reason, surround them with the message, and make the message an undeniably strong one. Raw, uninhibited and direct. Surround them in the schools, and surround them at home. Remove all cuteness.
This isn't a promotional campaign for Teen People magazine. Want a date with the dead? Buy yourself a batch of this weight-loss mixture that will tear your insides out and leave them hanging over your bones like over-boiled meat.
n John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.