After reviewing the alarming statistics about meth addiction, especially regarding the use by pregnant mothers, Sergio and Elda recommended that Telemax put together a team and produce their own version for broadcast statewide within four months.
Shortly thereafter, the Governor called a meeting of his cabinet instructing them to provide full support for the program with Sergio at the helm. Sergio and his team were able to put together a staggering list of hosts (seven groups) across the state (population 2,000,000) and by last count had some 35,000 volunteers.
The Governors wife, Lourdes Laborin, also became involved through a program called Camino Casa, which rescues abandoned children of illegal immigrants.
Preceded by two weeks of extensive promotion,the program came together October 1 with a full day of events including an 11:00 AM hour long, statewide radio broadcast on 90 stations and a one half hour broadcast of Crystal Darkness including 72 local Telemax stations and 130 cable outlets at 8:00 PM.
Sandwiched in between were a health fair and a live concert for teenagers held at the Hermosillo Exhibition Center. Over 2,000 students attended this event that was also broadcast live to 500 households through the Telemax system. A rapt audience watched the documentary and chanted, “Meth not even once” at its conclusion.
That evening the Governor hosted an event for the media executives in the Government Palace, a beautiful building located in the heart of old downtown Hermosillo on the town square. Each viewed the broadcast followed by dinner.
Walt Stutz, representing Childhelp, was pleased with the results and new ideas implemented by the Sonoran group. In two separate interviews with Telemax reporters he thanked all of the volunteers for their hard work and congratulated them for the successful evening.
Over 450 calls to the 066 (911 equivalent) emergency number were received immediately following the broadcast. Fifteen specialists were on hand to field specific inquiries. Roughly eighty calls were received by 089 (Silent witness). This was a 300% increase from a normal night. Dr. Felix Romero, Director General of State Mental Health Services reported that one clinic had over 150 new admissions as a direct result of the broadcast.
An extensive post program including prevention measures was planned. The government also planned to show the documentary again as soon as Saturday. A tired but invigorated crew celebrated after the broadcast at a local restaurant proclaiming the evening a resounding success. It was a great opportunity to be a part of such a historic campaign in the fight against meth.
Will Stultz (Marketing Director Childhelp)