Question & Answer
with Kathleen Weiler
Kathleen Weiler is the Producer/Director/Writer of Aftermath of Meth and is the owner of KW Video Production, specializing in local, independent television in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Q. In 2005, you produced Substance of Denial, a 90-minute documentary for KUED that focused on the much denied, yet very real substance abuse problem in Utah. Why did you and KUED feel it necessary to produce Aftermath of Meth, another documentary on substance abuse?
A. Substance of Denial, an award-winning 90-minute documentary, was a tremendous success for the station based on the overwhelmingly positive response from the community. In fact, during the initial April 26, 2005 broadcast, over 15,000 households tuned in to watch the program. In addition, the station mailed out over 2,000 packets containing the DVD and substance abuse resource information. Since the initial broadcast, the program has aired repeatedly and distributed statewide to every public junior and senior high school and into all public libraries. Substance of Denial has also aired on Salt Lake City’s cable television channel. Judging from the success of the program, KUED-TV determined the timing was right to take the next logical step with a documentary focused specifically on methamphetamine which many experts have concluded in not only a growing epidemic, but is now considered America’s new drug crisis.
Q. Is Aftermath of Meth an extension of Substance of Denial or is it unique in its perspective?
A. Aftermath of Meth is very strong…and, in all honesty, quite dark. It portrays the reality of methamphetamine in our society, with an emphasis on rural people and issues. And that reality is not about “progress” or “light at the end of the tunnel” or “a brave new direction of hope” as was portrayed in Substance of Denial. Aftermath of Meth is grittier and more journalistically schooled than Substance of Denial as it portrays an addiction that devours its victims and society from the inside out…psychologically, physically, and institutionally. Substance of Denial left viewers with a feeling of “hope”; AftermathofMeth is more sobering and challenging.
Q. What do you hope viewers will come away with after watching Aftermath of Meth?
A. I would hope viewers come away with a better understanding of how widespread methamphetamine usage is and how devastating the addiction can be. Meth knows no boundaries and does not discriminate. It appeals equally to soccer moms, working professionals, blue-collar workers, students and Mormon mothers. Methamphetamine is a powerful drug that is cheap and easy to get. The purpose behind this documentary is to graphically portray what meth does to users down the road, hence, the title, Aftermath of Meth. Users get caught up in the good feeling and they are caught in the trap.