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.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Community urged to join fight against meth (New Mexico)
Adults, teens get graphic details about the drug and its affects on body

Argen Duncan El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

City and law enforcement officials are calling on the community to band together to fight the methamphetamine problem.

With an audience of about 50 adults and youth at an educational meeting Wednesday at Socorro High School, Mayor Ravi Bhasker read a statement from City Councilor and Mayor's Drug Task Force member Ernest Pargas, who could not attend.

"Together we can move mountains," Pargas said in the statement.

Socorro Police Chief Lawrence Romero said the days of law enforcement fighting alone against crime have passed.

"It's all of us against the criminal element," he said.

State Police Capt. Jesus F. Orozco presented awareness information and offered to give more details, even demonstrating a meth lab, if people showed interest.

He began giving such presentations years ago when officers were reporting nausea, rashes and itchy, watery eyes after entering some houses — with children in those residences suffering the same problems. These are signs of a meth environment.

In his 10 years doing meth lab busts, the worst calls were those involving children, the real victims, he said.

Of the people who try methamphetamine, 98 percent become addicted, according to his information.

Orozco's presentation included meth addicts' photographs, showing the premature aging the drug causes. One woman's face became wrinkled and nearly skeletal at age 41 after a decade of meth abuse.

According to the presentation, the drug dates back to World War I, when Allied and German forces used a form of it to stay awake. Now, most comes from Mexico under the control of the Sinaloan Cowboy Organization.

Orozco said people could easily find recipes for cooking meth on the Internet.

Socorro has less of a meth problem than some other cities around the state, he said.

"But don't count it out," he said, explaining that I-25, U.S. 60 and U.S. 380 serve as major corridors for meth traffic.

Methamphetamine works by stimulating the central nervous system.

"It's an upper," Orozco said.

The drug's effects are similar to those of cocaine but last longer. It relieves fatigue and decreases the need for sleep.

Orozco named systems of meth influence as dilated pupils, anxiety, irritability, talkativeness, uncontrollable movements, severe abdominal pain and hallucinations. Signs of withdraw are depression possibly leading to suicide, irritability, weight loss, aggressiveness, poor judgment, restlessness, anxiety and paranoia.

Methamphetamine use causes bouts of pneumonia, deterioration of teeth and problems in the upper respiratory system, heart, kidneys and liver. People also run the risk of injuries such as acid burns from cooking the drug.

Users often get "meth mites," the hallucination that bugs are crawling over their skin. They will scratch until they have large sores that become infected.

Also, sometimes manufacturers will miss a step and create "pure poison," which must come out of the body, Orozco said. Sufferers get sores all over their bodies from the chemicals burning their way out and smell strongly of chemicals and flesh.

"It's not a good situation to be in, or even experience (as an observer)," he said.

Use also leads to violence. Orozco gave the example of user Eric Smith decapitating his teenage son in July 1995 because he thought the boy was a demon. Meth cookers may also booby-trap their labs.

Items commonly found in labs include crystal iodine, paper masks, acetone, lighter fluid and many nasal decongestant tablets containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

Most methamphetamine produced is ice or crystal meth, the two strongest forms.

In its purest form, the drug is white. Brown "peanut butter meth" has impurities from a missed process in manufacturing it, Orozco said.

Some producers may also use color as a trademark.

The drug has a strong chemical smell.

Three processes for making the drug exist.

"They're all simple," he said.

Users ingest meth by smoking, injecting or snorting it.

Orozco said society needs enforcement, punishment, rehabilitation, and education and awareness to reduce meth abuse.

Anyone interested in more information can call Orozco at (505) 835-0741.


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