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CRYSTAL METH "NOTHING TO SMILE ABOUT"
Wickenburg, AZ. The destructive drug Crystal Meth is a national and local problem which is resulting in child abuse, crime, broken families and destroyed lives.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested orally. Methamphetamine users feel a short yet intense "rush" when the drug is initially administered. The effects of methamphetamine include increased activity, decreased appetite, and a sense of well being that can last from 20 minutes to 12 hours. The drug has limited medical uses for the treatment of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorders, and obesity.
Most amphetamines distributed to the black market are produced in clandestine laboratories. Methamphetamine laboratories are, by far, the most frequently encountered clandestine laboratories in the United States. The ease of clandestine synthesis, combined with tremendous profits, has resulted in significant availability of illicit methamphetamine. Large amounts of methamphetamine are also illicitly smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug
Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 10.4 million Americans aged 12
or older used methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes for
non medical reasons, representing 4.3% of the U.S. population in
The effects of methamphetamine use can include addiction, psychotic behavior, and brain damage. Methamphetamine is highly addictive and users trying to abstain from use may suffer withdrawal symptoms that include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, and intense cravings for the drug. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Users can also exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts. Use of methamphetamine can cause damage to the brain that is detectable months after the use of the drug. The damage to the brain caused by methamphetamine use is similar to damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and epilepsy.
Of an estimated 106 million emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. during 2004, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimates that 1,997,993 were drug-related.
Decreased domestic methamphetamine production is reducing wholesale supplies of domestically produced methamphetamine. The decreased production is a result of law enforcement pressure, public awareness campaigns, and increased regulation of the sale and use of precursor and essential chemicals used in methamphetamine production. However, decreases in domestic methamphetamine production have been offset by increased production in Mexico.
Methamphetamine is easily produced in clandestine laboratories or meth labs using a variety of ingredients available in stores. The manufacturing of methamphetamine is called "cooking". Cooking a batch of meth can be very dangerous due to the fact that the chemicals used are volatile and the by-products are very toxic. Meth labs present a danger to the meth cook, the community surrounding the lab, and the law enforcement personnel who discover the lab.
The Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) system collects and analyzes data about the public health consequences (e.g., morbidity, mortality, and evacuations) of acute hazardous substance—release events. Of the 40,349 events reported to the HSEES system during January 1, 2000—June 30, 2004, a total of 1,791 (4%) were associated with illicit meth production. Meth events consistently had a higher percentage of persons with injuries than did nonmeth events. Of the 1,791 meth events, 558 (31%) resulted in a total of 947 injured persons.
As methamphetamine production in small-scale laboratories has decreased nationally since 2004, Mexican criminal groups have expanded direct distribution of methamphetamine, even in many smaller communities. For example, in Midwestern states such as Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio, where methamphetamine laboratory seizures have decreased significantly, Mexican criminal groups have gained control over most distribution of the drug. Law enforcement reports confirm a similar trend throughout much of the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Florida/Caribbean, Southeast, and West Central Regions.
These groups pose an increased challenge to local law enforcement because they are often Mexico-based, well-organized, and experienced drug distributors that have been successful in blending into somewhat insular Hispanic communities or among Hispanic workers employed in the agricultural, landscaping, construction, and meat packaging industries. The ability of Mexican criminal groups to continue the expansion of methamphetamine distribution into more communities in the eastern United States appears to be limited primarily by their capability to further expand methamphetamine production in Mexico.
Law enforcement reporting indicates that methamphetamine laboratories have been discovered on federal lands throughout the United States. Methamphetamine laboratories often are discovered in or near caves, cabins, recreational areas, abandoned mines, and private vehicles located on or adjacent to federal lands.What is a clandestine laboratory?
What are the dangers of meth labs?:
Are there different types of meth labs?
How many meth labs have been seized in the United States?
Where can I find help for a meth problem?
What should be included in a comprehensive meth
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