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Student Documentary on Methamphetamine Spotlighted in Indianapolis Star

December 11, 2005

Kate Billman.jpgDecember 11, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "'It's been a nightmare.' That is how an addict described his experience with methamphetamine in our student documentary, Putnam County's Newest Nightmare: The Methamphetamine Epidemic," writes DePauw University senior Katherine A. Billman in today's Indianapolis Star. Billman and fellow students Jill Jacobs, David Morine and William Riley created the program as a project of Professor Ken Bode's television documentary class. Besides the op-ed by Billman, the newspaper provides a link to the documentary.

Kate Billman writes, "Meth is expensive, dangerous and extremely addictive. Before starting the documentary on meth in rural Indiana, I knew nothing about the drug or its impact on the community surrounding my home at DePauw University. But it did not take long to find the people affected by the drug."

A variety of individuals from all walks of life were interviewed by the DePauw students. "Each individual had been affected by meth in a different way, but they all took part in our documentary to testify to the fact that the rampant methamphetamine epidemic is a scourge to our community. I also did not have to go far to find the sources of the problem. All the ingredients needed to make meth can be found within a 10-minute drive from the Putnam County Courthouse."

The senior Media Fellow asserts, "With a little digging, my fellow documentary producers and I uncovered this world that most of us did not know existed. It is a world where meth cooks buy their ingredients at the local Wal-Mart and could be cooking it in a makeshift lab at the house next door. In this world, roadside trash could actually be materials from a discarded meth lab -- trash so dangerous that only a hazardous materials team is allowed to clean it up. It is a world where a single hit is one too many for this highly addictive drug. It is a world where promising lives have been wasted, families torn apart and community members baffled about how to stop the epidemic. It is a real-life nightmare for those affected by the drug and for those who deal with its consequences every day. Making the documentary opened my eyes to this nightmare that is right in front of us."

Read the complete column at the newspaper's Web site, and access video of the documentary here.

Ken Bode is Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw, and writes a weekly opinion column for the Star. Learn about his most recent effort, published Friday, by clicking here.

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