CRYSTAL DARKNESS: Dangers of methamphetamine documentary


Through the use of a 30-minute gripping documentary titled Crystal Darkness residents across the state will have the opportunity to change attitudes and save lives. The story is told through the powerful testimonies of young people who have gone through the dark and lonely depths of Meth addiction. With heart wrenching and raw honesty, they speak to their generation with an unforgettable message of warning. The program is targeted for youths and their parents, but the message extends with conviction to an entire community and throughout the nation. The images and stories shared in the documentary are both shocking and scary.

Broadcast, radio and print media across the state (English-language and Spanish-language) have endorsed the mission of Crystal Darkness and pledged their support. This is the first time the program will be aired in Spanish as well as English. All participating television and radio stations are donating the half-hour time period and preempting their regularly scheduled programming in order to air the commercial-free program.

“To be a part of this historic event for Arizona is beyond comprehension at times,” said Art Brooks, President and CEO of the Arizona Broadcasters Association and Co-Chair of the Crystal Darkness Arizona campaign. “We don’t profess to have all the answers for every one, but I have no doubt we will put forth our strongest effort to help victims, create awareness and change people’s lives on April 15.”

Originally spearheaded by the crime stopping, non-profit organization Silent Witness, the Crystal Darkness Campaign is a unique collaboration between local media, schools, law enforcement, recovery specialists, faith organizations and the business community. These organizations work together to help victims, create awareness and prevent drug use. Law enforcement officials are particularly energized to add another component to their fight against illegal substance use.

“The Crystal Darkness campaign will educate the general public and provide our young people with a preventative message as well as an offer of hope and help,” said Chris Crockett, Commander of the Public Affairs Bureau at the Phoenix Police Department. “This campaign will bring local, county, state and federal law enforcement together in the fight against Meth.”

While the documentary airs, dozens of professionally trained volunteers will be standing by to receive and refer phone calls from families and victims seeking help against this horrible drug. The call center will be hosted by Childhelp®, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Childhelp®, a major co-sponsor of the campaign in Arizona, is headquartered in Scottsdale and has over 25 years of experience operating a national hotline and every day has found strong links between Meth use and child abuse. The documentary not only aims to help victims of Crystal Meth, but to create awareness of the deadly effects of the drug amongst the state’s youth and discourage its use.

Students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University have signed on to help. Cronkite School students in an advanced public relations class were challenged with the task of creating public relations campaigns designed to cause high school and college students to watch Crystal Darkness. The students’ campaigns will include a variety of compelling and innovative ways to reach their peers, including online and cellular phone techniques. Schools, non-profit organizations, businesses and community members are urged to find ways to get involved with the program.

“We want to get the message out about this amazing program and involve more organizations across the state,” said Gordon James, President of Gordon C. James Public Relations and Co-Chair of Crystal Darkness Arizona. “We encourage schools across the state to call to find out how they can get involved, create their own watch parties and speak with their students about this revealing program.”

Efforts to stem the use of Crystal Meth throughout Arizona won’t end with the conclusion of the documentary on April 15. The program will bolster an on-going collaboration between recovery organizations, law enforcement and other specialists.

Crystal Darkness has previously aired in Reno, Las Vegas, San Diego and across the state of Oregon. It has brought the community together in the fight against Crystal Meth and has mobilized individuals and organizations to seek the help they need to fight back and protect our youth and neighborhoods against this terrible drug.  On December 12, 2007, the program aired on only one station in San Diego, but volunteers received over 450 calls in only 30 minutes from individuals seeking help for their family, friends and themselves.

Learn More
To learn more about the Crystal Darkness Campaign in Arizona and across the nation and how your organization can get involved, please contact us at Gordon C. James Public Relations at 602-274-1988. You may also visit the campaign’s Web site at


Heather Defrancesco


CFC# 11571