As a writer, producer and director, I have worked in the Hollywood entertainment industry for the last 30 years. I decided to produce this two-part film series including "Tweaked" and "Tweaked: A Generation in Overdrive" after watching crystal meth systematically destroy a young teenage girl who was a member of my immediate family. Someone my wife and I truly loved. Exceptionally bright and attractive, she carried a 4.1 grade average going into her senior year of high school. As the student body president, head cheerleader, and senior staff writer for the school paper, her future was filled with enormous potential.
Near the end of her senior year, with a four year, fully paid scholarship to USC on the horizon, a close friend introduced her to the world of Methamphetamine. A drug that promised her the "edge" she was looking for in order to achieve more in life, while losing a little weight in the process prior to graduation. In the beginning, it seemed ideal. Within weeks, however, she was hopelessly hooked.
Her closest friends were replaced by others strung out on "speed" and the relationship with a loving family was ruined overnight. She became antagonistic, angry and paranoid. It wasn't long before her parents found her lying on the floor of their bathroom on evening, sick with malnutrition and dehydration, needing hospitalization. Two weeks after returning home she ran away
At first, her nights were spent at the homes of a few friends, then in a garage and eventually on the floor of a laundry-mat where local police would chase her off. Acting on a lead from a friend, I found her one morning at 3 a.m. in a Denny's parking lot. She was sitting in the front seat of a beat up Camaro with her drug dealer. The next day she moved into our house and my wife worked hard to help her graduate from high school.
A few months later she entered USC hoping to prepare for a career in journalism. Almost immediately she was late to classes, slept through others and finally couldn't even muster up the emotional stamina to verbally order a donut and coffee in a food line. Crying out for help she called my wife to rescue her from a world closing in on all sides. One filled with paranoia and fear. As a result, she agreed to move in to a well respected rehab center for one year. Weeks after a successful twelve month stay she ran away and returned to the streets and her habit
The first five years after high school were filled with drug counselors, nightly meetings of Narcotics Anonymous, rehab centers, and the endless sleepless nights by her family. All to no avail. She continued to go back to the streets, living with her drug dealer in filthy hotels or anyone else she could find along the way. As a teenager, I once saw a sign on the side of a high school that read, "it's better to train up a child that to try and repair a man" which was one reason that started me thinking about this film series.
My main objective for "Tweaked" and "Tweaked: A Generation in Overdrive" is to warn potential users before they take that first "hit", while educating parents and school officials in the process. If either film can save only one young person from Meth addiction, and it's destruction, which could be you now reading the contents of this web site, it will have been worth the effort.
These projects would not have been possible without the help and dedication of many within the Hollywood entertainment industry, and those who worked behind the cameras, especially the kids on the street in Venice, California who were willing to share intimate details of their destructive life on meth, as well as the family who nearly lost their daughters to this dangerous and growing epidemic.
Additional support came from the El Segundo Police Department, two California D.A.'s offices, and countless others behind the scenes who made this all possible.
And finally, there is the girl who's tragic and damaged lifestyle inspired everything. A member of my immediate family who I have though about almost everyday now for a long time. When we first started this web site, she was on her way to rehab, hours after being freed from jail. She was scheduled to enter a drug rehab program once again in the hopes it would reduce or eliminate potential prison time for her arrest for possession and dealing in methamphetamine.
In the year that followed she finally escaped meth and actually became one of the counselors at her rehab center followed by helping countless other meth addicts. Today, she has a great job, a nice little apartment near the beach in Southern California, drives a new car and has been in college for two years. She escaped meth.
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