News 12 at 6 o'clock, Tuesday, June 14, 2011
HEPHZIBAH, Ga.---They are graphic commercials, showing drug use at its worst, but new research shows The Georgia Meth Project is working.
Information released by Governor Deal today shows, more teenagers believe meth is dangerous, and they say the ads are sending a message loud and clear.
"These are some pictures of Danny, as he was growing up," his mother, Barbara Gross, showed News 12 in September, 2010.
We first met Barbara last September, after her 36-year old son Danny Accord was critically injured in a meth lab explosion.
"Just since meth took over, it's like it just stole his soul. I mean he wasn't the same at all," Barbara told News 12.
Now about nine months later, and Barbara's son Danny is doing much better.
"If you look at him now you would never believe that was him before," Barbara says today.
He's blind, and forever scarred from the explosion, but he's sober.
"The Lord has really stepped in, taken over and it's been fabulous," says Barbara.
42-year old Stuart Waller is friends with Danny, and also battled with addiction.
"Smoked dope, drank, crack, meth...I did it all. It makes you be somebody that you're not," says Stuart Waller, from Augusta.
Stuart says the drugs started when he was 13, and kept him in and out of jail for years. "The biggest thing is that one little saying that's in your mind, let me do it one more time," says Stuart.
"Don't do it. Don't do it," says one Georgia Meth Project commercial.
The Georgia Meth Project is getting ready to launch it's second year of commercials like these, trying to get the attention of teens and young adults.
"I think it's sending a great message a lot of people don't like to hear the truth or don't like to see the truth, but it's truth. What your showing is actually what it does," explains Stuart.
"I'm trying it just this once," another commercial says.
"They are graphic, but I don't think they can be too graphic," says Barbara.
"I drove to that party and tried meth for the first time," one last commercial claims.
"Teenagers need to know the first time you do it, it could be the last time," adds Barbara.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says they've worked more than a dozen meth lab cases in the last three months. They aren't cheap to clean up, costing taxpayers anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 dollars a piece.
They say the commercials are raising awareness and more people are calling their drug tip line. Stuart Waller is now 11 years sober. He helps other addicts at his church, Berean Baptist Church in Hephzibah.