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Methamphetamine Today

Meth Lab

Methamphetamine has always been a highly addictive, caustic, damaging drug. It started out as a stimulant used for armed forces, particularly pilots on long flights, in World War Two. After the war, meth entered the United States from Asia and established a foothold of demand and addiction on the West Coast. As it is a fairly simple drug to make, it began to be produced in small improvised labs in rural areas. Wherever a meth cook could get his hands on pseudoephedrine, the vital precursor chemical to meth and an ingredient in many cold medications, he could produce the drug.

As the drug spread to the Midwest and lives began to be lost, states fought back by enacting legislation that restricted the sale of cold medication. Starting in 2004, the number of small meth labs seized began to drop across the country, falling from more than 18,000 to just over 6,000.

Meth Lab Seized

It was too early to celebrate, however. Mexican drug cartels smelled a profit-making opportunity and they began to construct large meth labs in Mexico and in the Central Valley of California, capable of processing huge batches of meth. Seizures along the border began to increase. By 2011, Mexico had seized a massive lab in Mexico along with 15 tons of finished product. And in 2012, fifty-one pounds of Mexican meth were seized on Long Island, a region that had not seen much meth up to this point.

The Government of Mexico began to fight their own problem by banning the import of pseudoephedrine, after whole containers of the precursor drug were found to be headed for Mexico from China, labeled as some other chemical. Many meth lab operators in Mexico began to use a different precursor chemical that resulted in methamphetamine that was not as strong and was more adulterated with toxic chemicals. Many people in Mexico who used a particularly unrefined form of this methamphetamine suffered severe physical damage, being unable to think or talk coherently afterwards.

New Recipe for Meth Causes Resurgence of the Small Labs

2- Liter Bottle

By 2007 in the US, there was a new recipe for making meth that was easily available on the internet. This method required much less lab equipment and also much less pseudoephedrine to turn out a batch of meth. It was called the one-pot or "shake and bake" method as the ingredients were all supposed to be combined in a two-liter soda bottle where they could be gently mixed and then would gradually turn into methamphetamine. The process was so simple that one woman was found wandering in an Tulsa Walmart store for hours, carrying a two-liter bottle in which she was trying to make meth. She had found all the ingredients she needed, right in the store. Now with a smaller quantity of pseudoephedrine-containing cold medication, meth cooks could turn out a quantity of finished meth that was worth the work.

Cold Medicine

Cooks began to recruit meth addicts and give them money and sometimes false IDs so they could make the rounds of drugstores in the region and pick up as much cold medicine as possible. Carfuls of meth addicts with hundreds of packages of cold medication began to be noted, and meth labs often had huge piles of empty cold pill packages on hand. This method of acquiring precursor chemicals is referred to as "smurfing," and it is rampant across the West, Midwest, South and Northeast.

Soon, the number of meth labs seized began to rise again, reaching 11,000 by 2010. States once again began to pass legislation aimed at knocking out these small labs. Oregon and Mississippi made anything with pseudoephedrine prescription-only and watched their problems with small labs and crime drop as a result.

Methamphetamine is One of Most Highly Addictive, Damaging Drugs

The Mexican drug cartels have a well-established presence in more than two hundred American cities, meaning that within a short drive of any part of the US, a person who craves this drug can find it. A person may develop cravings they cannot control after just one or a few uses of this drug. And despite the damage being done to mind, body and spirit, they simply can't stop consuming it on their own, due to the intense cravings.

A heavy user of methamphetamine is likely to develop such severe mental disorders that they can injure those around them to the point of death. They may hallucinate that their child or a bystander is the devil and therefore try to kill him or her. Incidents like this have been cropping up in media reports across the country. Like the story of the woman in Fresno who filmed herself smoking meth then shot and killed her two small children and a cousin, injured her husband and then killed herself. Like Lyndsey Fiddler of Oklahoma who decided to do her laundry while high on meth and benzodiazepines and accidentally added her newborn baby to the laundry, who then drowned. And a hundred other stories that are too gruesome to tell.

Meth is currently destroying families and lives across the US, Asia, Australia and parts of Europe. Meth addicts can find recovery at Narconon centers that are located on six continents. In South Africa, Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia, Narconon rehab centers help meth addicts recover from the sharp cravings and build a new, stable life based on goals they set for themselves.

To help with the cravings, there is the sauna-based detoxification phase of the overall rehab program, the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. This phase of recovery has each person exercise moderately, spend time in a low heat sauna and take a strict regimen of nutritional supplements. Together, these actions activate the body's ability to flush out toxic residues and as these residues leave, those on this program say their cravings reduce.

Drug Rehab for Addiction

Methamphetamine addiction does not have to condemn a person to lifetime addiction, incarceration or threat of death. Lasting recovery is possible at a Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. For details, call the international offices of Narconon at 1-800-775-8750.


Resources:

  • http://www.justice.gov/dea/concern/map_lab_seizures.html
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/methamphetamine-trends-in-the-united-states
  • http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/system/files/JWillliams2011.pdf
  • http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/2011/nyc080111.html
  • http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/2012/sf030212.html
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/methamphetamine-trends-in-the-united-states
  • http://www.justice.gov/dea/concern/map_lab_seizures.html
  • http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-21/murder-meth-capital/52726822/1
  • http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-san-francisco/gilroy-police-arrest-man-for-throwing-crystal-meth-out-his-window
  • http://www.npr.org/2012/02/16/146952040/mexican-cartels-push-meth-beyond-u-s-market
  • http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/03/08/meth-on-long-island/1/
  • http://www.wishtv.com/dpps/news/indiana/Copy_of_off-duty-officer-smells-meth-lab-on-jog_4125547



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