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.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Methamphetamine use increasing nationally(Pennsylvania)

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2006/02/02-03-06tdc/02-03-06dnews-05.asp


By Vincent Ross
Collegian Staff Writer

Methamphetamine, the highly addictive stimulant that is gaining popularity across the country, isn't a current problem in State College, but local officials say there is potential for one in the future.

"It's increasing in demand in the area," State College Police Sgt. Mark Argiro said.

Meth usage hasn't become a problem, but if demand for the drug keeps rising, it could escalate to one down the road, Argiro said.

A January study by the National Association of Counties found that methamphetamine usage is increasing across the country.

Of the behavioral health directors polled from 200 counties nationwide, 25 of which are in Pennsylvania, 69 percent reported that because of an increase in meth usage, there is a need for more drug treatment programs in their counties.

In another study by the National Association of Counties, conducted in July 2005, 58 percent of law enforcement agencies in 500 counties reported methamphetamine as the county's No. 1 drug problem.

Twelve counties in Pennsylvania participated in this study.

Agent Scott Merrill, of the State College Office of the Attorney General, said there has definitely been an increase in meth lab cases across Pennsylvania, although Centre County itself has not seen any in recent years.

In the past two years, Centre County officials have not seized any meth labs, although there have been several cases dating back 15 years, Merrill said.

"We haven't seen a big rise in Centre County," Centre County District Attorney Mike Madeira said.

Madeira said meth labs are more common in the rural northwest part of Pennsylvania.

Although there haven't been any cases involving meth on campus, Penn State University Police criminal investigations supervisor Tom Sowerby said they are prepared.

"We've had a lot of training relative to [meth]," Sowerby said.

University police officers have also received handouts with descriptions of what meth looks and smells like.

It gives off a very distinct odor when it's being made, so rural areas are more popular to the manufacturers of it, he said.

Cpl. Scott Heatley, a Pennsylvania State Police supervisor based out of Montoursville, said that his station has responded to twice as many calls about meth labs over the last four years.

Last year, it received 121 calls to investigate possible meth labs, he said.

The rural northwest part of Pennsylvania accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the meth lab calls that his office receives, Heatley said.

The problem with meth is that the ingredients needed to make it are easy to obtain, Heatley said.

"You can make meth by buying everything you need legally," he said.

Stephen Shetler, an addiction specialist for Penn State's Counseling and Psychological Services, said that the number of students he sees for methamphetamine addiction is very low.

Meth addiction is extremely difficult to treat because it involves both detoxification and major lifestyle changes, Shetler said

Since meth has such a profound effect on a person's ability to function he or she would be unlikely to function as a student while addicted, which also contributes to the low numbers of patients at Penn State, he said. Students who get addicted to meth probably drop out soon after the addiction sets in.

"Every drug has a different addiction potential," he said. "Meth is really high up there."

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