Methamphetamine: The newest of the “Kentucky Uglies” Prepared by: Holly E. Hopper, MRC Extension Associate for Health Crystal Methamphetamine What is methamphetamine? A psycho-stimulant known as: • “meth” • “speed” • “crystal” • “ice” • “uppers” • “poor man’s cocaine” • “black beauties” Who is at risk? • Women • Men • Teens • Abusers of other drugs Anyone willing to try it. Why women? • Buying into weight loss advertisements • Myths about energy • Myth of productivity • Attempts to be “Super Woman” • Child care Why youth? • Adult family members’ use • Think it is fun • Cheap and popular • Easy to find • Believe local availability means safety Why men? • Belief it provides more energy • Belief they will be more productive • Looking to improve work performance • To escape from life stress Dangers associated with Methamphetamine • Addiction • Aggression • Brain damage • Paranoia • Family violence • Criminal involvement • Multiple health risks • Death How did methamphetamine get to Kentucky? 1970-California discovered meth 1990’s: Moving eastward… Utah, Kansas and Iowa Arkansas: www.co.benton.ar.us 1994 6 labs 1998 434 labs 2002 953 labs 2001 Missouri Extension targets problem 2002 Oklahoma Extension targets problem 2003 Iowa Extension partners with area Substance Abuse Council --part of Healthy County programming 2003 Indiana Extension (Purdue) targets methamphetamine 2003 KENTUCKY BECOMES FAMOUS FOR DRUG PROBLEMS THE PROBLEM FEELS OVERWHELMING… What does meth do to you? In the short-term: •Euphoria •Increased alertness •Dilated pupils •Paranoia •Decreased appetite •Increased physical activity; jerky or flailing movements, picking at skin or pulling hair •Irritability, nervousness •Trouble sleeping •Aggression and psychological distress •Teeth grinding •Non-stop talking •Rapid heart beat and increased blood pressure •Heart-failure, high body temperature, or death What are some other effects? Common long-term effects are: •Tooth decay •Acne or skin sores (“speed bumps”) •Anger •Panic •Paranoia •Hallucinations •Repetitive behavior patterns •Fatal kidney and lung disorders •Brain damage •Liver damage •Blood clots •Chronic depression •Malnutrition •Disturbed personality •Deficient immune system •Violent or psychotic behavior Why don’t people just stop using? • People can go without sleep for as many as 13 days while using methamphetamine. Upon waking, users will experience intense : • Drug craving • Irritability • Loss of energy • Depression • Fearfulness • Drowsiness • Shaking • Nausea • Heart palpitations • Sweating • Hyperventilation • Increased appetite It doesn’t make sense • Impaired reasoning • Lost jobs • Lost lives • Lost friends • Damaged relationships • Paranoia • Psychological pain • Physical pain • Disease • Death Employment and Livelihood • 38 to 50% of all workers’ comp claims are drug and alcohol related. (National Council on Compensation Insurance, 1993) • 71% of current drug users 18 and older were unemployed. (1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, SAMHSA, August 1996). Methamphetamine & Environment • Toxic waste • Water pollution • Soil pollution • Risk to food supply • Property contamination • Exposure risk can last years Landowner’s Responsibility • Know what happens on your land • Maintain safety of rental property • Become aware of potential liability Protect yourself and your farm What are signs of production? • Strange smells • Strange looking trash • Blacked out windows • Night traffic DO NOT attempt clean-up on your own. This requires special protective equipment and training to reduce health risks from corrosive burns, asphyxiation, toxic exposure, fire, and toxic psychological effects from exposure to methamphetamine oil. Methamphetamine “lab” Risks to Families and Children • Fetal defects, abnormality • Domestic violence • Child neglect • Child sexual abuse • Child physical abuse • Child poisoning • Brain damage • Toxic living environments • Death Family members as victims • Loaning money • Theft of money • Theft of valuables • Threats of violence • Threats of harm • Community crime increase • Meth production on family property Social & cultural strengths of East Kentucky • Family • Pride • Hope • Privacy • Faith • Resilience • Tradition • Unconditional support • Strong emotional expression • History What if I find a meth production site? DO NOT attempt to clean or inspect the site yourself. Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force: 1-800-624-4596 Kentucky State Police: 1-800-222-5555 Meth-certified officers are available to handle such situations. What can I do to help? • Talk to others • Get involved • Talk to your kids • Encourage users to seek treatment • Seek the aid of law enforcement • Support others affected by drug use • Become aware of national trends • Build community assets • Build developmental assets What is the role of extension? Sources: • http://www.health.org/newsroom/rep/215.aspx • http://training.ncjfcj.org/rural_issues.htm • http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/methamphetamine. html • http://www.kci.org/meth_info/faq_meth.htm • http://www.iir.com/centf/guide.htm • http://parentingteens.about.com/library/sp/drugs/bl- meth-kentucky.htm • http://www.accesskansas.org/drugenforcement/retail meth.htm • Methamphetamine Fact Book, A Community Handbook and Resource Guide, Speed Prevention and Awareness Network (SPAN) Sources: • Newspaper clippings from the Lexington Herald Leader • Lab photos courtesy of the Fayette County Police Dept. • Brain and meth user photos from, Hawaii’s Ice Age • The DAWN Report: Club Drugs, 2001 Update, October 2002, SAMHSA. • www.samhsa.gov • www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov • www.drugabuse.gov • www.monitoringthefuture.org • www.notometh.org Movie that accurately portrays methamphetamine use: • Requiem for a Dream Warning: This movie is an accurate but graphic portrayal. For more information on health issues in Kentucky, contact your local County Extension Office or visit the HEEL website at: www.ca.uky.edu/HEEL Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. This information is provided by the H.E.E.L. Program. Health Education through Extension Leadership (H.E.E.L.) is a partnership among the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and the Kentucky School of Public Health. The development of the HEEL program was made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.
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