HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii has the dubious distinction of ranking No. 5 in the nation for meth use.
Whether you call it ice, crystal meth, batu or any other name, the highly addictive drug is ruining lives and shattering families.
On this National Meth Awareness Day, Dan Cooke caught up with members of the Hawaii Meth Project, urging kids not to try the drug, not even once.
"So the receptors in your brain that process the dopamine, they start to get fried, and they shut down," Hawaii Meth Project executive director Cindy Adams said.
Five hundred Roosevelt High School students got the message that meth can change your life forever, and has the potential "to take away the things that matter to you, whether they're your friends or your family or your ability to go to college."
Anthony Marrero's daughter has been a meth addict for six years. He talked about the pain, the frustration he and his family endure in their ongoing battle against meth.
"So I stand here before you today hoping that someone listens closely to my story, because you don't, you don't want meth in your life," Marrero said.
Assemblies are just one part of the Hawaii Meth Project's effort. You have no doubt seen their powerful TV campaign.
And it looks like it's working. A recent survey indicates a significant change in Hawaii teen attitudes about meth.
"So 87 percent as an example of teenagers said that the Hawaii Meth Project ads helped them to understand how dangerous this drug was, so we're very encouraged by those results," Adams said.
Marrero was very encouraged by the warm reception he got from Roosevelt students Tuesday.
"Before I couldn't talk about my daughter without crying. But I find strength when I'm in front of the kids because I want to make to make an impact on somebody's life. I want somebody to learn from somebody else's mistake," Marrero said.