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.