Colorado Meth Project launches new fight against addiction

9NEWS at 9 p.m. 10/1/16.

DENVER - Justin Sessions is happy to share his story of sadness. 

"Met up with these guys, started using meth and I got addicted to it pretty much instantly," Sessions said.

He ran away from home at the age of 14 and started living on the streets of downtown Denver.

"It kinda gave me a way to fit in. I never really kinda fit in as a kid, so meth offered me the opportunity to fit in with a certain group of people and be accepted and have friends," Sessions said.

His story and others like it have help the Colorado Meth Project spread the message against the use of the highly addictive drug. Executive director Kent MacLennan believes it is working. He says between 2005 and 2015, Meth use in teenagers dropped by 40 percent.

"Really, it's important for us that we're still staying hot on the trail of making sure that teens are aware of the dangers of the drug," MacLennan said.

On the other hand, MacLennan says meth use amongst adults is as bad as ever.

"We've seen tripling in meth-related crime amongst adults in the last three years," MacLennan said. "So, it's clearly playing a role in our communities."

That's why the Colorado Meth Project and its umbrella organization, The Meth Project, launched a new campaign called "Life or Meth." Over the past year, The Meth Project hosted a national video contest asking people to create the next big commercial for their campaign.

"Our story is about two siblings," Hudson Bloom, said.

Bloom and Landon Shimpa own a Fort Collins company called JETBLACK Film. Their video beat out 120 entries from all around the country to win The Meth Project contest and take home $20,000. His commercial depicts a sister discovering that her meth-addicted brother has broken into the house. He attacks her and threatens her life.

"It wasn't just about one guy throwing away his life. It affects his sister. It affects his parents obviously, throwing in the line 'Tell mom and I'll kill you'," Bloom said.

MacLennan says the winning ad evolves the message about the impacts of meth addiction.

"I think the great thing that this commercial shows is the impact the drug has on families," MacLennan said. "It's just not affecting the user."

Sessions says when he watched the Bloom's video, it gave him goose bumps.

"Like seeing something that raw and you know, it affects me like that," Sessions said. "That's where I come from." 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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