Tennessee's renewed assault on methamphetamine abuse is moving to the classroom, The Tennessean reports. Gov. Bill Haslam will kick off a campaign called “Meth Destroys” featuring the first educational video created for middle and high school students since the state's initial meth campaigns in 2005. Meth lab seizures last year reached their highest since 2004, nearly doubling the prior year.
In response, the state enacted a battery of new laws aimed at making it harder to obtain pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth, and stiffening penalties for helping make the drug. The state hasn't done a major educational campaign aimed at students in years, said Tommy Farmer, director of the Tennessee Meth Task Force. “We've learned that we have to educate the youth at a pretty young age,” he said. “They're definitely at an age where they understand, we believe. They know and they need to know the difference between right and wrong.” Many law enforcement efforts involve tamping down on “smurfing,” the practice where meth makers try and avoid limits on pseudoephedrine purchases by enlisting multiple people to buy quantities of the ingredient. Meth makers will often enlist college students to buy pseudoephedrine in return for extra cash. While the act may seem benign to the students, Farmer said that they need to learn there are consequences at a young age.