DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meth forum needs to look at rehabilitation Monday in Washington



Mesabi Daily News
Saturday, January 21st, 2006 10:44:03 PM

We are pleased to see that U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman has played a vital role in organizing a Monday Meth Town Forum in Washington D.C. on the scourge of methamphetamine use that continues to spread like wildfire across the country.

Along with the Republican Minnesota senator, Montana’s Sens. Max Baucus, a Democrat, and Conrad Burns, a Republican, will co-host the forum. In addition, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and Drug Czar John Walters will join the three-hour presentation that will be broadcast from Washington via satellite to a number of locations across the country, including in Minnesota. It will also be Webcast live from Coleman’s official Web site at www.coleman.senate.gov.

The forum will include testimony from law enforcement, social services and former users.

There has been no shortage of forums on meth use and abuse the past year on a local and state level. And it’s good to see that there will now be a highly visible national forum with some Washington heavyweights.

But we will reiterate what we said in a Dec. 10 editorial: The void of public awareness on meth use is, fortunately, being filled. However, the terrible void of drug treatment centers solely for meth addicts has not yet been addressed at all.

In that Dec. 10 editorial, we advocated a combined bipartisan effort by Minnesota’s lawmakers on all levels of government to develop a state/national plan for pilot project meth treatment centers. We believe Minnesota can be a leader in this regard. Why not the first such center in a rural area, from where the epidemic began and has reached out with horrific tentacles, but also where a recovery program can provide the natural setting that can help clear the minds and give birth to fresh starts in lives? Why not the first such center in Minnesota? Why not the first such center on the Iron Range?

At the Washington hearing, there will be more stories of the battle law enforcement must wage against the ravages of meth. There will be more first-hand accounts of the terrible crimes — from domestic abuse and assault to random theft to feed the habit to even murder — that meth users and those in court systems will retell. And there will be stories from those in social services of the horrendous addictive effects meth has on the users, their loved ones, friends and the tragically unknowing yet born victims who must bear a dreadful burden passed on by a meth mother.

These are narratives that have now become quite common, really all too common, at hearings and public gatherings throughout the region, state and in locales all across the country.

And it’s a message that was first sent to state and national officials from rural areas such as the Iron Range that has finally resonated with them the past year or so, at least on the front end of the problem.

There are now laws that put tough restrictions on the sale of some products with the chemicals that are used to make the poisonous meth. And there are also tougher penalties on the books for those who deal and use the drug.

But what about the out end — what about special rehabilitation programs for meth, a drug unlike any other because of its incredibly highly addictive nature? For users, it’s one hit and hooked.

We encourage Sen. Coleman and others at Monday’s forum to raise the issue of meth rehabilitation centers — not overall substance abuse centers — but centers specifically focusing on meth users. The rehab cannot just be a month, two, three or six. It needs to be long-term.

The Iron Range is the perfect setting for such a center that could serve both to rehabilitate users and also educate the public so that it could also be a center with a preventive component.

Forums are important. Keeping the issue visible is important. But treatment centers need to be funded, fully and professionally staffed and up and operating. And that means action is needed, not just talk.

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