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Jeremy Buchholz


  • pg 1
									Jeremy Buchholz
410 Rockford Rd.
Pierre, S.D. 57501

       Jeremy has in-depth personal knowledge of Methamphetamine, including its
manufacturing, distribution and use. Jeremy has served prison time and been associated with prison
gangs as a result of his familiarity with this highly addictive and illegal drug.
        Jeremy coauthored an in depth manual concerning all aspects of Methamphetaniines in 2002
with Mathias E. Stricherz, Ed.D of the University of South Dakota. They presented this information
to the South Dakota Governor‟s conference for Methamphetarnines and the staff and consumers at
the Wakpala treatment center in Mobridge, S.D. Jeremy offers detailed information concerning his
personal drug use and the dangers of Methamphetamines.
Jeremy presented to an assembly of students and teachers in the Onida, S.D. school district in 2002
concerning the dangers of Methamphtamines.
In 2004, he was asked to speak to the Mitchell and surrounding community school districts, the
Alternative school, the town meeting and an assembly of teachers and counselors about drug use.
Jeremy was appointed by Governor Rounds in 2004 to serve on the Governors‟s Statewide
Methamphetamine Task Force for a term of 18 months.
Jeremy was the featured speaker in 2005 at the Pierre Brown Bag series for Sober Youthl Sober
Jeremy continues in his recovery and now leads a sober lifestyle. He works for Capital Area
Counseling Service, Inc. in Pierre, S.D. as a case manager for adults who have serious mental
illnesses. He provides in-service training to the Capital Area Counseling clinical staff and to staff at
the Central South Dakota Teen Court.

Symptoms of methamphetamine use
Stage 1: Low Intensity Use
People who use meth in this stage are primarily adolescents, housewives, and shift workers. They
do not necessarily become addicted to the drug, but use the drug for the following desired effects:
      Stimulation
      Weight Loss
Not all the users become addicted at this level, but with neuroadaptation of the drug, and increased
amounts consumed, toxic effects are experienced:
      Psychological disturbances
      Dangerous Weight Loss
      Severe Insomnia

With the abstinence of meth, the following syndromes are common:
Anergia: Decreased energy.
Anhedonia: Inability to experience pleasure, boredom: in contrast to the intense euphoria of the
drug experience, sharpens the users dissatisfaction with the current state.
Endogenous: “comes from within” or background craving, feelings of dysphoria. Environmentally
Cued: Immediate, catastrophic, overwhelming craving stimulated by objects, persons, and situations
associated with prior drug use.

Stage 2: Binge Use
      Aggression
      Violence
      Paranoia
      Anxiety
      Hallucinations
      Hyperactivity
      Weight Loss

Stage 3: High Intensity Use
     • Extreme Weight Loss (50-1 00 lbs.)
     • Severe Malnutrition
     • Aggression
     • Violence
     • Belligerence
     • Toxic Psychosis
          o Paranoia
          o Hallucinations
          o Hysteria
   • Sleep Deprivation
   Stroke
   • Heart Failure
As you can see, the binge cycles that are being experienced today are truly terrifying, not only to the
addicted user, but to afl those who come in contact with the user!
Source: National Drug Intelligence Center, US Dept of Justice

Lasts 5 - 30 minutes
Metabolism, blood pressure and pulse soar
Feelings of pleasure
Lasts 4 - 16 hours
False sense of confidence and power; user finishes other people‟s sentences
Becomes argumentative
Lasts 3-15 days
User becomes hyperactive mentally and physically, avoiding sleep for days and becoming paranoid
and delusional
Because meth is metabolized slowly, a large percentage of the drug remains in the user‟s body
Tolerance is developed quickly
User tries to keep the high by taking more meth, more often, rush grows less extreme with each use
until the user can‟t stay high
Lasts 4 - 24 days
No amount of meth will bring back the high the user craves
User is irritable and paranoid from not sleeping for days
User often behaves or reacts violently and is very dangerous to himself or herself and others
User often takes a depressant, such as alcohol or heroin, to ease the bad feelings
Lasts 1 - 3 days
User needs an incredible amount of sleep; the body‟s epinephrine has been depleted, and the
body uses the crash to replenish its supply
The meth crash is more intense and longer-lasting than those of speed and cocaine.
In each successive cycle, the highs are not as high
After a person stops taking meth, withdrawal can last more than a month
The user becomes depressed, confused and restless. He or she experiences insomnia and severe
craving, and may be suicidal
Taking meth at any time can stop the unpleasant feelings, so a high percentage of addicts return to

Patterns of Abuse
Methamphetamine abuse has three patterns: low intensity (does not involve psychological
addiction), binge, and high intensity. The binge and high-intensity abusers smoke or inject meth to
achieve a faster and stronger high; the patterns of abuse differ in the frequency in which the drug is
abused and the stages within their cycles.

The binge abuse cycle is made up of these stages: rush, high, binge, tweaking, crash, normal, and

Rush (5-30 minutes)—The abuser‟s heartbeat races and metabolism, blood pressure, and pulse soar.
Experiences feelings of pleasure

High (4-16 hours)--The abuser often feels aggressively smarter and becomes argumentative.

Binge (3-15 days)--The abuser maintains the high for as long as possible and becomes hyperactive,
both mentally and physically.

Tweaking--The most dangerous stage of the cycle. See page 7.

Crash (1-3 days)--The abuser does not pose a threat to anyone. He becomes almost lifeless and

Normal (2-14 days)—The abuser returns to a state that is slightly deteriorated from the normal state
before the abuse.

Withdrawal (30-90 days)—No immediate symptoms are evident but the abuser first becomes
depressed and then lethargic. The craving for meth hits and the abuser becomes suicidal. Taking
meth at any time during withdrawal can stop the unpleasant feelings so, consequently, a high
percentage of addicts in treatment return to abuse.

• increased alertness
• sense of well-being
• paranoia
• intense high
• hallucinations
• aggressive behavior
• increased heart rate
. convulsions
• extreme rise in body temperature (as high as 108 degrees which can cause brain damage and death)
• uncontrollable movements (twitching, jerking, etc...)
• violent behavior
• insomnia
• impaired speech
• dry, itchy skin
• loss of appetite
• acne, sores
• numbness
• disturbed sleep
• excessive excitation
• excessive talking
• panic
• anxiousness
• nervousness
• moodiness and irritability
• false sense of confidence and power
• delusions of grandeur leading to aggressive behavior
• uninterested in friends, sex, or food
• aggressive and violent thoughts
e severe depression
• fatal kidney and lung disorders
• possible brain damage
• depression
• hallucinations
• disorganized lifestyle
• pemianent psychological problems
• violent and aggressive behavior
• weight loss
• insomnia
• behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia
• decreased social life
• malnutrition
• poor coping abilities
• disturbance of personality development
• lowered resistance to illnesses
• liver damage
• stroke
• death

                                    Methamphetamine Slang Terms
222 (Chicago)                          Cheese                           Gas
Agua                                   Chicken Flippin                  Gear or Get Geared Up
Albino Poo                             Chikin or Chicken                Gemini
Aiffy                                  Chingadera                       Glass
All Tweakend Long                      Chittle                          Go
Anny                                   Chizel                           Go Fast
Anything Going On                      Chiznad                          Go-ey
Bache Knock                            Choad                            Go-Go
Bache Rock                             Clavo                            Go-Go Juice
Bag Chasers                            Coco                             Gonzales (Like the cartoon
Baggers                                Coffee                           “Speedy
Barney Dope                            Cookies                          Goop
Batak (Philippine Street               CR (California Central Valley)   Got Anything
Name)                                  Crack Whore                      Grit
Bato                                   Crank Is „Walk” & Coke Is        Gumption
Bato-(Philippine Street                “Talk.                           Gyp
Name)                                  Crankster Gansters               Hawaiian Salt
Batu Kilat (Malaysia, it               Cri,Cri (Mexican Border in       Hank
means shining rocks)                   Southwest Arizona)               High Speed Chicken Feed
Batu or Batunas (Hawaii)               Criddle                          Highthen
Batuwhore                              Cringe                           Hillbilly Crack
Beegokes                               Critty                           Hippy Crack
Bianca                                 Crizzy                           Homework (This is because
Biker Dope                             Crotch Dope                      homework is generally done
Billy, or Whizz, (Britain - after      Crow                             on paper which had lines)
a cartoon character in a kids          Crunk                            Hoo
comic called Billy Whizz who           Crypto                           Horse Mumpy (Tampa,
seemed to be always on the             Crystal Meth                     Florida)
stuff!)                                Crystalight                      Hydro
Bitch                                  Cube                             Hypes
Biznack                                Debbie, Tina, and Crissy         Ice
Blanco                                 Devil Dust                       Ice Cream
Blizzard                               Devils Dandruff                  Icee
Blue Acid                              Devils Drug                      Ish
Blue Funk, (Southwest Area             Dingles                          Izice
of SD Ca.)                             Dirt                             Jab
Bomb                                   Dirty                            Jasmine
Booger                                 Dizzy D                          Jenny Crank Program
Boorit-Cebuano (Filipino               D-Monic or D                     Jetfuel
Street Name)                           Do Da                            Jib
Boo-Yah! (Southwest Area of            Doody                            Jib Nugget
SD Ca.)                                Doo-My-Lau(H.B.)                 Jinga
Brian Ed                               Dope                             Juddha
Buff Stick                             Drano                            Juice
Bugger Sugar                           Dummy Dust                       Junk (San Diego)
Buggs                                  Dyno                             Kibble
Bumps                                  Epimethrine                      Killer
Buzzard Dust                           Epod                             KoolAid
Caca                                   Eraser Dust                      Kryptonite
Candy                                  Ethyl-M                          Lamer
Cankinstien                            Evil Yellow                      Laundry Detergent
CC                                     Fatch (Mexican Border In         Lemon Drop
Chach                                  The Southwest Arizona Area)      Life
ChaChaCha                              Fedrin                           Lily
Chalk                                  Fil-Layed                        Linda
Chalk Dust                             Fizz Wizz                        Lost Weekend (Bay Area SF)
Chank                                  Gackle-a Fackle-a                Love
Cheebah                                Gak                              Low
Lucille                    Satan Dust                    Sweetness
M Man                      Scante (Hispanic Population   Swerve
Magic                      in Southern California)       Syabu (pronounced “shabu” -
Meth                       Scap                          SE Asia)
Meth Monsters              Schiep Rock                   Ta‟doww (Southwest Area of
Methaine                   Scooby Snax                   SD Ca.)
Methandfriend              Scud                          Talkie
Methandfriendsofmine       Scwadge                       Tasmanian Devil
Methanfelony               Shab                          Tenner
Methatrim                  Sha-Bang                      The New Prozac
Methniood                  Shabs (San Francisco)         The White House
Method                     Shabu                         Tical
Nazi Dope                  Shamers                       Tina Or Teena
Ned                        Shards                        Tish - Shit Backwards (C.V.
Newday                     Shit                          Calif. area)
No Doze                    Shiznack, Shiznac, Sciznac    Tobats
Nose Candy                 or Shiznastica                Toots
On A Good One              Shiznit                       Torqued
Patsie                     Shiznitty                     Trippin Trip
Peaking                    Shizzo                        Tubbytoast
Peanut Butter              Shnizzie Snort                Tutu (Hawaii)
Peel Dope                  Shwack                        Twack
Phazers                    Skeech                        Twacked Out
Phets                      Sketch                        Tweak
Philopon (East Asia)       Ski                           Tweedle Doo
Pieta                      Skitz                         Tweek (A Methamphetamine
Pink                       Sky Rocks                     Like Substance)
Poison                     Sliggers                      Tweezwasabi
Poop                       Smiley Smile                  Twiz
Poop Out                   Smuif Dope                    Twizacked
Poor Mans Cocaine          SmzJ                          Ugly Dust
(Philippines)              Snaps                         Vanilla Pheromones
Pootananny                 Sniff                         Wake
Powder                     Snow, Motivation (Colorado    Way
Powder Monkeys             Springs, CO)                  We We We
Powder Point               Space Food                    Whacked
Project Propellant         Spaceman                      White Bitch
Puddle                     Spagack                       White Ink
Pump (Bay Area SF)         Sparacked                     White Junk
Q                          Sparked                       White Lady
Quick (Canada)             Sparkle                       White Pony (Ridin‟ the White
Quill                      Speed Racer                   Pony)
Rachet Jaw                 Spin, Spin, Spin              White
Rails                      Spinack                       Who-Ha
Rails                      Spindarella                   Wigg
Rank                       Spinney Boo                   Xaing
Redneck Heroin (Atlanta)   Spinning                      Yaaba (Thailand)
Richie Rich                Spishak                       YAMA (Pattaya, Phuket, Ko
Rip                        Spook                         Samui And Bangkok)
Rock                       Sprack                        Yammer Bammer
Rocket Fuel                Sprizzlefracked               Yank
Rocky Mountain High        Sprung (Mississippi)          Yankee
Rosebud                    Spun Ducky Woo                Yay
Rudy‟s                     Squawk                        Yead Out
Rumdumb                    Stallar                       Yellow Barn
Running Pizo               Sto-Pid                       Zingin
Sack                       Styels                        Zip
Sam‟s Sniff                Sugar                         Zoiks
Sarahs                     Suger                         Zoom
Amp                           Cristy            Basehead
Blue Belly                    Glass             Battery bender
Crank                         Hanyak            Cluckers, Chicken-headed
Crystal                       Ice               Clucks
La Glass (pure meth with no   L.A.              Crack heads
cuts)                         Quartz            Crackies
Speed                                           Crankster or Cranker
White Cross                                     Coorknobers (Nova Scotia)
White Crunch                                    Fienda
                                                Go Go Loser
                                                Jibby bear
                                                Loker or Lokers
                                                Neck Creature
                                                Shadow People
                                                Sketchpad or Schetchers
                                                Sketch Cookie
                                                Sketch Monster
                                                Spin Doctors
                                                Tweekin/The Go

Ampin                                      Psychosis
Amped                                      Ring Dang Doo
Bache Knock 2 Rock                         Rollin or RoHin Hard
Bachin                                     Scattered
“BOB‟ as in discombobulated                Schlep Heads
Buzzed                                     Sketching
Cranked Up                                 Spin-Jo
Crank Whore Jamie                          Speeding
Feelin Shity                               Sparked
Foiled                                     Spracked
Fried                                      Spun
Gakked                                     Spun Monkey or Spun Turkey
Gassing                                    Stoked
Geeked                                     Talkie
Geekin                                     Twacked
Gurped                                     Tweeked
Heated                                     Twisted
Jacked                                     Wide Open or Awake
Lit                                        Wired
Ripped                                     Worked
Pissed                                     Wooop Chicken
Pumped                                     Zipper

Crank Craters - sores on your face caused by meth
Tooter - the straw used to snort
Paper - a quarter gram
Teenager - 1/16 gram
Needles - called points, rigs, slammers
Paraphernalia - medical supplies or utensils
Tina Or Teena - name derived from the fact that meth is commonly bought in sixteenths of an ounce packages (aka
1 ounce = 28.34952 grams
Eightball - (eighth of an ounce) = 3.5 grams (dealer absorbs the .34952 grams)

Pepsi means crank
Pepsi One means Crystal
Coke means coke

                    IS THERE A METH LAB COOKIN‟ IN YOUR
Many people may be unaware that they‟re living near a meth lab. Here are some things to look for:
    • Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals)
    • Residences with windows blacked out
    • Renters who pay their landlords in cash (Most drug dealers trade exclusively in cash)
    Lots of traffic - people coming and going at unusual times: There may be little traffic
        during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically
    • Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers,
         lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape
    • Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home
    • Presence of the following items could indicate the existence of a meth lab:

                                               Toluene/Paint Thinner
                                           Camp Stove FuellColeman Fuel
                                                    Starting Fluid
                                               Anhydrous Ammonia
                                                   White Gasoline
                                                   Iodine Crystals
                                                  Red Phosphorous
                                                     Black Iodine
                                                Lye (Red Devil Lye)
                                            Muriatic/Hydrochloric Acid
                                             Battery Acid/Sulfuric Acid
                                                     Epsom Salts
                                                    Sodium Metal
                                                  Wooden Matches
                                                 Propane Cylinders
                                                      Hot Plates
                                            Ephedrine (over-the-counter)
                                                     Cold Tablets
                                                  Energy Boosters
                                                      Rock Salt
                                                      Diet Aids

                      If you suspect a meth lab in your neighborhood
                   (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota)
                          Call the Crank Hotline at 1-888-664-4673

                             Meth Lab Locations and Tip-offs
Methamphetamine labs can be located in homes, apartments, mobile homes or recreational vehicles.
They present substantial health, fire and environmental risks.

Tip-offs to the proximity of a meth lab:
    The strong odor of solvents, such as those used with paint
    Blacked out windows
    Late night activity or excessive visitors
    An overabundance of chemical, solvent, and acid bottles or, in particular, commercial drain
       cleaner containers in the trash
    A RV that comes and goes without reason and doesn‟t fit into the neighborhood
    Motel guests who refuse room service or towel service for several days

According to police, it‟s not uncommon for a drug manufacturer to rent a motel room for a week, or
in some cases, even an apartment—going so far as to pay the first and last month‟s rent for just a
one-month stay. „They‟re cooking up $10,000 worth of meth a week,” Morris said, “it‟s nothing for
them to rent an apartment.”
If possible, apartment owners or managers should screen tenants using a credit service, Morris

Property owners who suspect tenants of drug-making activity should call police rather than confront
them directly.

As owners, they‟re responsible for cleaning up former drug labs, but some or all of those costs may
be covered by insurance. Possible payment depends on the company and the type of policy.

In general, apartment owners with fire policies are covered against vandalism, malicious mischief or
drug manufacture if the rental unit has not been vacant for more than 30 days. Obviously, an owner
who is involved with or aware of such activities may not be covered.

Conversely, if a parent, for example, does not know his or her son is manufacturing drugs, it‟s
unlikely the parent would be denied coverage for cleanup costs.

These are general guidelines and anyone with questions about coverage should contact their
insurance company or agent.

   Cookers use many tricks to make a batch
   Tricks help sell a product
   The product can become more dangerous as a cooker applies their tricks

   Vitamin B turned meth brown or copper colored
   If glass tubing is used, not having the glass tubing completely through a rubber stopper may
    cause black or blue meth (makes meth taste like melthing plastic or rubber)
   Red phosphorous causes pink or red meth
   Windex to dry “dope” leaves blue behind
   Food Color is generally non-toxic / and it can cause buyers to believe that a cooker is
    advanced and using citrus products or swirling products together
   Isozene — a baby mineral — causes meth to sparkle like some coke Baking soda turns meth
    into an “easy smoking” form
   Baking soda opens pores -- taste buds -- and intensifies “coke‟s” numbing effect and in
    creases the effects of smoking meth
   Blue Iodine or medical iodine leaves a pinkish brown or a glass blue
   Careless -- Impaired cooks will not filter enough times to remove color
   Careless — Impaired cooks may waste Acetone to remove color

    pink
    blue green
    orange
    etc. etc

                      HERE ARE THE STRAIGHT FACTS
                                 About Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug chemically related to amphetamine but with stronger effects
on the central nervous system. Street names for the drug include
“speed,” “meth,” and “crank.”

Methamphetamine is used in pill form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized
methamphetamine known as “ice,” “crystal,” or “glass,” is a smokable and more powerful form of
the drug.

The effects of methamphetamine use include:
    increased heart rate and blood pressure
    increased wakefulness; insomnia
    increased physical activity
    decreased appetite
    respiratory problems
    extreme anorexia
    hypothermia, convulsions, and cardiovascular problems, which can lead to death
    euphoria
    irritability, confusion, tremors
    anxiety, paranoia, or violent behavior
    irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes

Methamphetamine users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring

Methamphetamine is an increasingly popular drug at raves (all night dancing parties), and as part
of a number of drugs used by college-aged students. Marijuana and alcohol are commonly listed as
additional drugs of abuse among methamphetamine treatment admissions. Most of the
methamphetamine-related deaths (92%) reported in 1994 involved methamphetamine in
combination with at least one other drug, most often alcohol (30%), heroin (23%), or cocaine (21
%). Researchers continue to study the long- term effects of methamphetamine use.

Women’s Issues
    Growing numbers of women are using MA for reasons ranging from a desire to lose weight
      to the wish to be a “Superwoman” who must self-medicate to get through an overextended
    Data on women who were sexually abused as children suggest they use cocaine as adults in
      order to “feel better”

   Entry points in the system for women:
   Pediatricians (mothers will take children to the doctor even when they will not go for their
      own problems
   Child protective agencies
   Social service agencies
   Primary care providers
   Criminal justice system

Treatment for women should include a holistic approach, considering the following:
    Relationships with family (after social functioning, issues of homelessness, social isolation)
    Treatment needs of children
    Domestic violence
    Parenting
    Life skills
    Education and vocational training
    Economic self sufficiency
    Reproductive health issues
    Mental health
    Dependence issues
    Self-esteem
    Independent living skills
    Nutrition
    Transportation
    Ethnic and cultural issues
    Day care and group counseling for children
    Gender specific groups/female group leaders
    Long-term effects of stimulants on reproductive health

                         Methamphetamine Frequently - Asked Questions
Q: What is Methamphetamine?
A: Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. The drug works directly on
the brain and spinal cord by interfering with normal neurotransmission. Neurotransmitters are
chemical substances naturally produced within nerve cells used to communicate with each other and
send messages to influence and regulate our thinking and all other systems throughout the body.
The main neurotransmitter affected by methamphetamine is dopamine. Dopamine is involved with
our natural reward system. For example, feeling good about a job well done, getting pleasure from
our family or social interactions, feeUng content, feeling our lives are meaningful and count for
something, all rely on dopamine transmission.

Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug and has a high potential for abuse and dependence. It is
illegally produced and sold in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks. Methamphetamine was
developed early in this century from its parent drug amphetamine and was originally used in nasal
decongestants, bronchial inhalers, and in the treatment of narcolepsy and obesity. In the 1970s
methamphetamine became a Schedule II drug - a drug with little medical use and a high potential
for abuse.

Q: What are the street names for methamphetamine?
A: The drug is referred to by many names including “meth,” “speed, crank,” “chalk,” “go-fast,”
“zip,” and “cristy.” Pure methamphetamine hydrochloride, the smokeable form of the drug, is called
“L.A.” or - because of its clear, chunky crystals which resemble frozen water - “ice,” “crystal,”
64glass,” or “quartz.” Since the 1 980s, ice has been smuggled from Taiwan and South Korea into
Hawaii, where use became widespread by 1988. By 1990, distribution of ice had spread to the U.S.

Q: Where is meth manufactured and distributed?
A: Methamphetamine is both domestically produced and imported into the U.S. in already
processed form. Once dominated by motorcycle gangs and other local producers in remote areas of
California and the Pacific Northwest, the market now includes both local producers and Mexican
sources providing finished product to stateside distributors.

Q. Why is meth use so prevalent in the Midwest?
A: The region‟s methamphetamine epidemic stems from two problems:
    steadily increasing importation of methamphetamine into the region by organized trafficking
    clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine by hundreds of users/dealers in small “mom
       and pop” labs
Seizures of clandestine labs in the Midwest have increased from 44 in 1995 to more than 500 in
1997. In fact, the state of Missouri led the nation in 1997 in the number of meth labs seized.

Twenty Mexican rnethamphetamine trafficking organizations have been identified by DEA as being
involved in the Midwest, which is connected via major interstate highways, rail and air to the West
and Southwest border areas that serve as importation, manufacturing and staffing areas for the
Mexican operations.

Q. How is meth made?
A: The processing required to make methamphetamine from precursor substances is easier and
more accessible than ever. There are literally thousands of recipes and information about making
meth on the Internet. An investment of a few hundred dollars in over-the-counter medications and
chemicals can produce thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine. The
drug can be made in a makeshift “lab” that can fit into a suit case. The average meth “cook‟
annuafly teaches ten other people how to make the drug.

Q. Where are these labs found?
A. Clandestine labs known as “mom and pop” labs are found in rural, city and suburban residences;
barns, garages and other outbuildings; back rooms of businesses; apartments; hotel and motel
rooms; storage facilities; vacant buildings; and vehicles.

Q. What ingredients are used to make meth?
A. Over-the-counter cold and asthma medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, red
phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, drain cleaner, battery acid, lye, lantern fuel, and antifreeze are
among the ingredients most commonly used.

Q. What are precursor ubstances?
A: Precursors are substances that, in nature, might be inactive. However, when combined with
another chemical the result is a new product. Methamphetamine starts with an inactive or
marginally-inactive compound (ephedrine or pseudoephedrine) and other chemicals are added to
produce the drug.

Q. How much does meh cost on the street?
A. The cost varies according to several factors, including purity of the drug, the region in which it is
sold, the source of the drug (local product vs. imported) and availability of the drug. The
approximate prices are:
• $25 per 1/4 gram
• $l0Upergram
• $1700 perounce
• One-ounce of meth equals about 1 10 meth “hits”

Q. Who is using methamphetamine?
A. There are two basic profiles of users reported by law enforcement and treatment providers:
• students, both high school and college age
• white, blue-collar workers and unemployed persons in their 20s and 30s
Use is widely prevalent in both urban and rural areas and equally divided among males and females.
Women are more likely to use methamphetamine than cocaine. Some areas are seeing an increase in
the number of Hispanic and Native American meth users, though whites are still the most dominant
users of the drug.
On a recent survey (March 25 - April 17, 2000), of the 544 respondents:
•                                     Under 18 years old- 24%
•                                     18-23 years old - 35%
•                                     23-30 years old - 19%
•                                     30-40 years old - 13%
•                                     Over 40 years old - 6%

Q. Are teenagers using the drug?
A. The drug is becoming more popular among persons 18 years and younger, as studies show
teenagers perceive methamphetamine as safer, longer lasting and easier to buy than cocaine. The
“Monitoring the Future” survey, which measures the extent of drug use among U.S. adolescents,
found methamphetamine use among high school seniors more than doubled between 1990 and
1996. In addition, law enforcement officials have caught teens as young as 14- and 15-year-olds
using and selling the drug.

Q. Why should I talk to my child about meth?
A. Teens whose parents talk to them about drugs are half as likely to use drugs as those whose
parents do not speak to them on this topic.

Q: Why do people start using methamphetamine?
A: Athletes and students sometimes begin using meth because of the initial heightened physical and
mental performance the drug produces. Blue collar and service workers may use the drug to work
extra shifts, while young women often begin using meth to lose weight. Others use meth
recreationally to stay energized at “rave” parties or other social activities. In addition, meth is less
expensive and more accessible than cocaine and users often have the misconception that
methamphetamine is not really a drug.

Q: Is meth used in combination with other drugs?
A: Methamphetamine users are likely also to be users of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine rather than
users of drugs like heroin.

Q. Are there any legitimate uses for methamphetamine?
A: In some cases, doctors prescribe low doses of methamphetamine for narcolepsy and attention
deficit disorder.

Q: How is methamphetamine administered?
A: It can be smoked, taken intranasally (snorted), injected intravenously or ingested orally. The
practice of “eating” meth by putting it on paper or food and chewing it also has been reported.

Q: What happens immediately after a person takes methamphetamine?
A: The drug alters mood in different ways, depending on how it is taken. Immediately after
smoking or intravenous injection, the user experiences an intense “rush” or “flash” that lasts only a
few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Smoking or injecting produces effects
fastest, within five to ten seconds. Snorting or ingesting orally produces euphoria - a high but not an
intense rush. Snorting produces effects within three to five minutes, and ingesting orally produces
effects within 15 to 20 minutes.

Q: How does the drug affect users overall?
A: In all forms, the drug stimulates the central nervous system, with effects lasting anywhere from
four to 24 hours. Methamphetamine use can not only modify behavior in an acute state, but after
taking it for a long time, the drug literally changes the brain in fundamental and long- lasting ways.
It kills by causing heart failure (myocardial infarction), brain damage, and stroke. It induces
extreme, acute psychiatric and psychological symptoms that may lead to suicide or murder.

Q: What are the short-term effects?
A: Central Nervous System Side Effects
Even small amounts of methamphetamine can produce euphoria, increased alertness, paranoia,
decreased appetite and increased physical activity. Other central nervous system effects include
athetosis (writhing, jerky, or flailing movements), irritability, extreme nervousness, insomnia,
confusion, tremors, anxiety, aggression, incessant talking, hyperthermia, and convulsions.
Hyperthermia (extreme rise in body temperature as high as 108 degrees) and convulsions sometimes
can result in death.
Cardiovascular Side Effects
Use can produce chest pain and hypertension which can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.
In addition, methamphetamine causes accelerated heartbeat, elevated blood pressure and can cause
irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain.
Other Physical Effects
Pupil dilation, respiratory disorders, dizziness, tooth grinding, impaired speech, dry or itchy skin,
loss of appetite, acne, sores, numbness, and sweating.

Psychological Effects
Symptoms of prolonged meth abuse can resemble those of schizophrenia and are characterized by
anger, panic, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns, and
formication (delusions of parasites or insects on the skin). Methamphetamine induced paranoia can
result in homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

Q: What other long-term effects can result?
A: Fatal kidney and lung disorders, brain damage, liver damage, blood clots, chronic depression,
hallucinations, violent and aggressive behavior, malnutrition, disturbed personality development,
deficient immune system, and methamphetamine psychosis, which is a mental disorder that may be
paranoid psychosis or may mimic schizophrenia.

Q: How much of the drug can cause an overdose?
A: A toxic reaction (or overdose) can occur at relatively low levels, 50 milligrams of pure drug for a
non-tolerant user. Metabolic rates vary from person to person, and the strength of the illegal form of
the drug varies from batch to batch, so there is no way of stating a “safe” level of use. In overdose,
high fever, convulsions and cardiovascular collapse may precede death. Because stimulants affect
the body‟s cardiovascular and temperature-regulating systems, physical exertion increases the
hazards of meth use.

Q: What effect does methamphetamine use have on pregnancy?
A: Babies can be born methamphetamine addicted and suffer birth defects, low birth weight,
tremors, excessive crying, attention deficit disorder, and behavior disorders. There is also an
increased risk of child abuse (including “shaken baby syndrome”) and neglect of children born to
parents who use methamphetamine.

Q: What are some signs that a person may be using the drug?
A: The person may exhibit anxiousness; nervousness; incessant talking; extreme moodiness and
irritability; purposeless, repetitious behavior, such as picking at skin or pulling out hair; sleep
disturbances; false sense of confidence and power; aggressive or violent behavior; disinterest in
previously enjoyed activities; and severe depression.

Q: If methamphetamine is so dangerous, why can physicians prescribe the drug to patients?
A: The key is the dosage. Methamphetamine abusers use much higher dosages of the drug than a
physician would routinely prescribe when treating a patient.

Q: Why is methamphetamine addictive?
A: All addictive drugs have two things in common: they produce an initial pleasurable effect,
followed by a rebound unpleasant effect. Methamphetamine, through its stimulant effects, produces
a positive feeling, but later leaves a person feeling depressed. This is because it suppresses the
normal production of dopamine, creating a chemical imbalance. The user physically demands more
of the drug to return to normal. This pleasure/tension cycle leads to loss of control over the drug and

Q: How does methamphetamine take over one’s life?
A: Methamphetamine short-circuits a person‟s survival system by artificially stimulating the reward
center, or pleasure areas in the brain. This leads to increased confidence in meth and less confidence
in the normal rewards of life. This happens on a physical level at first, and then it affects the user
psychologically. The result is decreased interest in other aspects of life while reliance and interest in
meth increases. In one study, laboratory animals pressed levers to release methamphetamine into
their blood stream rather than eat, mate, or satisfy other natural drives. The animals died of
starvation while giving themselves methamphetamine even though food was available.

Q: Is there methamphetamine withdrawal?
A: Yes. The severity and length of symptoms vary with the amount of damage done to the normal
reward system through methamphetamine use.
The most common symptoms are:
    drug craving
    extreme irritability
    loss of energy
    depression
    fearfulness
    excessive drowsiness or difficulty in sleeping
    shaking
    nausea
    palpitations
    sweating
    hyperventilation
    and increased appetite

Q: Is methamphetamine addiction difficult to treat?
A: Several treatment providers describe methamphetamine abusers as “the hardest to treat” of all
drug users. They are often overly excitable and “extremely resistant to any form of intervention
once the acute effects of meth use have gone away.” Meth addicts get over the acute effects of
withdrawal fairly quickly. However, the “wall” period lasts 6-8 months for casual users and 2-3
years for regular users. (Some people never recover and remain unsatisfied with life due to
permanent brain damage.) This is a period of prolonged abstinence during which the brain recovers
from the changes resulting from meth use. During this period, recovering addicts feel depressed,
fuzzyheaded, and think life isn‟t as pleasurable without the drug. Because prolonged use causes
changes in the brain, willpower alone will not cure meth addicts.

Q: Is relapse common?
A: Yes. Because there are psychiatric, social, and biological components to meth dependence, there
is a high likelihood of relapse. Key relapse issues are similar to that of cocaine use and include other
substance abuse and being around drug-using friends.

Q: What prompts methamphetamine users to enter treatment?
A: Methamphetamine causes a variety of mental, physical, and social problems which may prompt
entry into treatment. Though not as expensive as heroin and cocaine, its cost might also produce
financial problems for users and prompt them to seek help. However, the most commonly reported
reason why methamphetamine users enter treatment is trouble with the law. These legal problems
include aggressive or bizarre behaviors which prompt others to call police. Other reasons for entry
include mental or emotional problems and problems at work or at school.

Q: How does the cost of treating meth users compare to incarceration?
A: Treatment is a highly cost-effective altemative; it is about one-tenth of the cost to treat a person
rather than putting him or her in jail.

Q: What other problems does methamphetamine pose to society?
A: Automobile accidents; explosions and fires triggered by the illegal manufacture of
methamphetamine; environmental contamination; increased criminal activity, including domestic
violence; emergency room and other medical costs; spread of infectious disease, including HIV,
AIDS and hepatitis; and lost worker productivity. Economic costs also fall on governments, which
must allocate additional resources for social services and law enforcement. See also,
Methamphetamine: What are the real costs to society?

Q: How is the production of meth more dangerous than other drugs?
A: Meth trafficking and production are different than other drugs because they are dangerous from
start to finish. The reckless practices of the untrained people who manufacture it in clandestine labs
result in explosions and fires that injure or kill not only the people and families involved, but also
law enforcement or firemen who respond. Any number of solvents, precursors and hazardous agents
are found in unmarked containers at these sites. These potent chemicals can enter the central
nervous system and cause neural damage, effect the liver and kidneys, and burn or irritate the skin,
eyes and nose. Environmental damage is another consequence of these reckless actions, and
violence is often a part of the process as well.

Q. What are the most serious environmental consequences of meth labs?
A: Each pound of meth produced leaves behind five or six pounds of toxic waste. Meth cooks often
pour leftover chemicals and byproduct sludge down drains in nearby plumbing, storm drains, or
directly onto the ground. Chlorinated solvents and other toxic byproducts used to make meth pose
long-term hazards because they can persist in soil and groundwater for years. Clean-up costs are
exorbitant because solvent contaminated soil usually must be incinerated.

Q: What is the cost of a cleaning up a clandestine meth lab site?
A: Cleanups of labs are extremely resource-intensive and beyond the financial capabilities of
most jurisdictions. The average cost of a cleanup is about $5,000 but some cost as much as
$150,000. See Guidelines for Cleaning up former Methamphetamine Labs Handout

Q: What are the federal penalties for methamphetamine trafficking?
A: The basic, mandatory minimum sentences under federal law are:
10 grams (pure) = 5 years in prison
100 grams (pure) = 10 years in prison.

Q: What is the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996?
A: This federal legislation takes significant steps toward preventing meth from becoming the next
crisis in drug abuse. The bill:
• Permits the domestic seizure and forfeiture of methamphetamine precursor chemicals
• Directs the Attorney Genera‟ to coordinate international drug enforcement efforts to interdict such
• Increases penalties for the possession of equipment used to make controlled substances, and for
trafficking in certain precursor chemicals
• Requires an interagency task force to develop and implement prevention, education and meth
treatment strategies

Q: What is Midwest HIDTA?
A: High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) are areas identified by the Office of National
Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as having the most critical drug trafficking problems adversely
impacting the U.S. The Midwest HIDTA, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and
South Dakota, was created specifically to fight the spread of meth in the Midwest. It promotes a
comprehensive, cooperative strategy by law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels to
reduce drug trafficking.

Q: What do I look for if I suspect a meth lab in my neighborhood?
A: Unusual, strong odors similar to that of fingernail polish remover or cat urine; renters who pay
cash; large amounts of products such as cold medicines, antifreeze, drain cleaner, lantern fuel,
coffee filters, batteries, duct tape, clear glass beakers and containers; and residences with windows
blacked out and lots of nighttime traffic.



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