A Success Story: OP’s Involvement in “Crystal Darkness”

An unprecedented event occurred throughout Oregon on the evening of October 5th, 2007, and Oregon Partnership played a major role to make it a stunning success.

“Crystal Darkness,” a half-hour documentary focusing on the dangers of methamphetamine, was aired simultaneously on 22 Oregon television stations.  The program, which included examples of the scourge of meth and the advantages of prevention, generated huge viewership and several hundred calls to an extensive phone bank coordinated by the Oregon Partnership crisis lines center.

IMPACT: The program produced by Global Studio of Reno, Nevada attracted more than a half-million viewers statewide and 367-thousand viewers in the Portland viewing area. Fifty-five percent of the Portland area homes watching TV at 7:30 p.m. were tuned into “Crystal Darkness.” Some 75 volunteers at the “Crystal Darkness” phone bank center spoke with family and friends of those impacted by methamphetamine use as well as hearing from viewers wanting more information about meth. Oregon Partnership contributed to the program’s content, stressing drug prevention and education and providing information on how the state enacted the toughest pseudoephedrine restrictions in the country, which resulted in the virtual disappearance of toxic meth labs. OP President/CEO Judy Cushing was also interviewed.

RESULTS: *More than 300 calls before, during and after the program. The great majority of the calls came into the phone bank center where volunteers were trained on listening skills, advice and referral information, and call logging. *60% of the calls were from family members and friends inquiring about treatment. Frequently, the caller expressed concern and frustration. *40% of the calls were from those who were using meth, looking for referrals to detox, treatment, or a 12-step meeting. Treatment referrals statewide were offered. *On the day the documentary aired, Oregon Partnership’s Helpline received 64% more calls than it did on the same day last year. For the week preceding the documentary, the Helpline registered a 20% increase in calls.

FOLLOW UP:  Oregon Partnership’s role in “Crystal Darkness” gave OP an opportunity to recruit additional volunteers for its crisis lines.  Brochures are being distributed to schools, community groups and places of worship.

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One Response to A Success Story: OP’s Involvement in “Crystal Darkness”

  1. Ryan says:

    Hi OP,

    My name is Ryan Coogan and I’m from Burson-Marsteller, agency for Quest Diagnostics. I saw your recent posts about the “Crystal Darkness” video that was shown and the positive response that followed and thought you might be interested in the information below. These are results from the semi-annual Quest Diagnostics report on employee drug use trends. We’ve provided a recap below, but you can also access the press release, graphics, audio sound bites and other materials on our online site: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=832190&sourceType=1

    If you want any more information or have any questions, let me know.

    Results from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index®, released today, show the following:

     Use of methamphetamine among U.S. workers and job applicants dropped 22 percent in 2007. Analysis suggests that efforts to reduce illicit, clandestine production of methamphetamine may be having an impact on workplace positive tests for the drug.

     Although some may conclude that there is a reduced availability for methamphetamine, the Drug Testing Index shows that use of amphetamine in the general workforce has increased slightly, by about five percent. These findings suggest that some workers might be replacing one stimulant drug for another in the larger drug class of amphetamines.

     Positive tests for cocaine in the general U.S. workforce were down 19 percent between 2006 and 2007, the biggest single-year decline since 1997.

     Additionally, drug use by employee’s remains at its lowest level since Quest Diagnostics began publishing the Drug Testing Index in 1988. Among the combined U.S. workforce, only 3.8 percent tests had positive results — the same level reported in 2006 — compared to a high of 13.6 percent in 1988.

    ** The 2007 Drug Testing Index is a summary of results from 8.4 million workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics between January and December 2007. Results are based on tests that Quest Diagnostics performs for employers that conduct pre-employment, random or for-cause drug testing.

    I want to thank you for your time and I hope to be hearing back from you in the near future.

    All the best,

    Ryan Coogan

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