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 31, 2006

Methamphetamine (meth) labs and the impact on children (Wisconsin)

Todd Priebe column: Meth labs pose special dangers to kids

This week and next I'll be discussing methamphetamine (meth) labs and the impact on children.
It is unknown exactly how many methamphetamine labs we have in Sheboygan County. What we do know is where there is meth being produced there is a potential for children being present.
As meth sweeps through the United States, law enforcement officials are serving search warrants and finding children that are testing positive for toxic levels of chemicals at a fast-growing rate. The chemicals used to make meth are harmful to everyone and particularly dangerous to children.
When parents are using and manufacturing meth, their concern for children is lost. The most important thing in the life of a meth addict is getting high. Children are exposed to toxic wastes in their bedrooms and in the bathrooms. Chemicals used to produce meth end up on the floor where infants and toddlers are crawling and we all know how often kids put their hands in their mouths.
There are several dangers for children being raised within a home manufacturing meth.
Threats to the children's welfare are physical contamination, fire, explosion and inhaling toxic chemical gases. Children become contaminated when chemicals or chemical mixtures come in contact directly or indirectly with the skin. Clothing, toys and household items eventually become contaminated and then contaminate the child.
The processing of producing meth requires the mixing of various chemicals such as white gas, lithium, red phosphorous and Red Devil Lye, just to name a few.
The meth cook will use and store mixtures in unlabeled fluid and drink containers often left on the floor or on counter tops where toddlers and infants can reach them.
Some cooks will use household baking and cookware only to reuse the contaminated cookware for actual food preparation. Once a container has been contaminated with the chemicals used to make meth, the container — no matter how much you clean it — is unsafe. Chemical waste by-products flushed down the bathtub ends up contaminating children when taking a bath. It is also not uncommon for chemical waste by-products to be dumped in play areas outside the home.
Since meth cooks are also users, additional dangers are present in the home. Razor blades, syringes and pipes are often within a child's reach. For protection, some meth cooks will have a loaded, ready-to-fire firearm.
Some will even set explosives or booby traps with the intention of either protecting the meth lab from other drug dealers or the police or for intentionally destroying the lab when discovered by law enforcement.
To help prevent detection by law enforcement, meth cooks will seal the residence, causing poor ventilation and increasing toxic fume concentrations.
When children are discovered at a meth lab, not only are the children dirty, pale and lethargic, but they also test positive for methamphetamine or chemical exposures. It's unknown what the long-term consequences are from exposures to a methamphetamine lab; however immediately identified problems are delayed verbal skills, neurological and respiratory injuries.
Next week I will continue this topic with abuse and neglect, social problems, and signs of an exposed child.


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