The impact of the methamphetamine epidemic in the American West is striking with brutal force and unleashing a ravaging devastation to many small, rural communities. Unlike crack cocaine that erupted in urban areas in the 1980s, methamphetamine has taken hold in rural areas far away from America’s watchful eye. The unique attributes characterizing the appeal and isolation of the American West are rapidly becoming fertile ground for meth manufacturers. “Small Town America” has now become a high-stakes venue for methamphetamine trafficking.
This documentary examines the meth epidemic impact in rural areas of the Intermountain West. It focuses on inadequate, resource-stretched small town law enforcement efforts, vulnerable Native American populations, the burgeoning health care crisis that is affecting women, children, and their families, and the endangered children living day-to-day in methamphetamine’s toxic environments.
Also at issue are the overburdened rural healthcare facilities and hospital emergency rooms, the environmental contamination from cooking methamphetamine in clandestine labs or in open spaces and greed versus safety as methamphetamine fuels the West’s oil and gas boom. The devastation from meth abuse has forever changed the landscape of the American West and ushered in a profound battle cry for the 21st century.
The audience, comprised of public television viewers, policy makers and educators alike will hear the voices from an underserved population – a layer of society faced with enormous challenges not adequately addressed by mainstream America. This story epitomizes the changing landscape of the rural West and is certain to form a lasting impression with viewers of public television - the viewers who want to feel, reach out and understand what is happening in their own backyard. We encourage you to use the companion DVD and resource guide to begin conversations in your own communities