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CRYSTAL METH A Presentation By Heather Balogh, BSc, BSP student Stueck Pharmacy, Leader, SK Outline • Background on its use in SK • The high • Short and long term consequences • How it is made • Associated crime AKA: Crystal Meth Street Names • Current: girls or jib or ladies • Smoked form: crystal, ice, glass, tina • Other street names: crank, yaba, gak, meth, speed, poorman’s coke, duck, yak Patterns of Use • After its first known appearance in 2000, crystal meth use escalated in Saskatchewan at an alarming rate of 200% per year • Currently, the use of crystal meth is Saskatchewan is considered steady • Although use is not declining, it is also not escalating as dramatically in previously years • This does NOT mean it will stay that way Who is it? • In 2000, crystal meth was mainly being used by middle to upper class Caucasians • The rave scene • Approximately 15-25 year old age range; but this is not exclusive • Now, IV drug users and the sex trade industry are turning to crystal meth • Urban AND rural settings! Crystal Meth High • Crystal meth is a stimulant drug • The high lasts considerably longer compared with cocaine • Euphoria: an marked feeling of being well; elation • Decreased need to sleep, loss of appetite, muscle twitching, faster heart rate, faster breathing rate, higher body temperature, paranoia, hyperactivity • Pupil dilation pupil constriction • Crashing or ‘tweaking’ phase The “Tweaking” Phase • Coming down from the high or crashing • 2-15 days since the last time they slept • Users want another hit of crystal meth, but cannot regain the original high at this point • Leads to frustration, paranoia, and violence • Marijuana or benzodiazepines are often used to combat the insomnia • Users will crash and sleep continuously for up to 2 days Appearance of „Tweakers‟ • Crystal meth addicts do not • Scabs on skin from obsessive perceive themselves as any picking different than they were • Scabs between the knuckles before they began using from snorting • They look in the mirror and • Skin and bones do not see any changes in • Hair thinning their appearance • Deterioration of the teeth • Dark circles under the eyes • Strong odor • Raw throat and nose Progression The Change 3 years and 5 months Forms of Crystal Meth • Crystal meth can be smoked, ingested, injected, or snorted • AKA: puddling, parachuting, banging, knuckling • Crystal meth can be used on its own, but is often found laced in other drugs: ecstasy or cocaine pills, cigarettes and marijuana joints • Laced marijuana: very chemical-like odor and taste; the high will be a combination of a marijuana high and a crystal meth high Paraphernalia Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Appearance of Crystal Meth Ingesting Paraphernalia “Well, I just want to try it once!” • After one use, it will take your brain up to TWO YEARS to repair itself • It’s like trying to eat just one potato chip! • If one hundred people were to try crystal meth together, ninety of those people would be addicted to the drug after ONE SINGLE USE! „Their souls seem to have left their bodies‟ The Long Term Consequences • PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE • It is becoming increasingly common for people who have abused crystal meth in the past to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders • This includes bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and chronic short term memory loss Damaged Brain Cells Do NOT Regenerate Vascular Damage Irreversible Damage and Scarring And the Other Arm… Irreversible Gum and Enamel Damage Overdosing • Present to hospital with same signs and symptoms as a heart attack • Increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, chest pain, confusion, a coma Kicking the Habit • The detoxification phase takes 28 days • Treatment of the addiction takes 170 days • Addiction treatment facilities in Saskatchewan have programs that are 28 days long • The addict therefore gets time to detoxify, but then is sent back out into the community without treatment of the actual addiction Kicking the Habit • Bottoming out • Family and friends must not condone nor enable the drug use • Enabling the drug use includes giving them a place to live, allowing the user to continue to steal from you • Most abusers hit bottom when they become homeless or are prosecuted for petty crimes • Pressing criminal charges or kicking them out of the house may seem harsh, but may also serve as a wake up call to the addict. The Rural Setting • Crystal meth is penetrating into farming communities • There is usually at least one person in the area who will go into the city and experiment with crystal meth. It is then introduced into the community and surrounding area • Crystal meth labs are easy to set up…and they go easily undetected in a rural setting Meth Labs • The ‘Nazi’ method…it only takes 45 minutes from start to finish to make crystal meth on a small scale • Nothing fancy is required for a meth lab…crystal meth can be made in a truck! • No large scale meth lab have been located as of yet in Saskatchewan. Currently, the meth labs are small scale productions…hence, easily mobile and hard to bust Mobile Meth Lab Crystal Meth in the Making Crystal Meth in the Making • Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine (cough and cold products) • Anhydrous ammonia (kitty litter) • Sulfuric Acid (drain cleaner) • Muriatic acid (pool cleaner) • Battery acid (lithium batteries) • Ether (quick start for motors) • Red phosphorous (road flares) Ingredients Crystal Meth in the Making Crystal Meth Labs • 3-4 suspected in the province; 2 of those are confirmed • Acute risk of fires and explosions that can wipe out entire apartment buildings • Result in permanent damage to buildings • Inhabitants of houses/hotels previously used as meth labs are presenting with rashes and asthma symptoms due to the chemical irritants that are soaked into the walls, ceilings, and carpets • Often requires gutting of the building What to look for • Discarded, red-stained • Discarded jugs and bottles. coffee filters propane torches, rubber tubing and gloves, cheese • Discarded coffee filters clothe, aluminum foil, lab with white rock beakers • Red stained glassware Crime and Punishment • Possession: ‘slap on the hand’ • Courts have failed to be aggressive in jailing persons caught in possession of crystal meth • Saskatchewan courts have yet to try a cystal meth lab • Problem: the courts are not educated in how to deal with the issue of crystal meth • Lots of regulations but very little to back up those regulations in the form of laws Petty Crime • Although crystal meth is also referred to as poorman’s cocaine, cocaine and crystal meth actually sell for about the same price • Addicts often resort to petty theft (vehicle and house break and enters) to fund their use of crystal meth • Women especially turn to the sex trade to fund their addiction Stay Away! • Do not hang out with people who do crystal meth; the more you are around it, the more you may be tempted • Do not experiment: crystal meth has a 90% addiction rate! • The solution is not is rehabilitation after the fact…it is in never starting to use crystal meth AT ALL • Talk to someone (parents, teachers, health care professional) if you have an questions or concerns • If you see signs of crystal meth labs, report it to the local RCMP • Be very weary of marijuana • If you have friends or family who are users, do not enable them References • Constable Joanna Small bones, Saskatoon Drug Unit • National Institutes on Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Methampheta mine.html. Accessed Feb. 20, 2006. • The Faces of Meth: http://www.oregonlive.com. Accessed Feb 20, 2006. • http://www.crystalrecovery.com. Accessed Feb 20, 2006. •QUESTIONS?
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