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.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Prevention key to fighting crystal meth abuse (Alberta, Canada)

By LISA JOY/ Editor
Jan 31 2006

Crystal meth is coming to a location near you and Edmonton K Division Staff Sgt. Ian Sanderson wants Ponoka residents to be prepared.

“It’s around. We have seizures on Highway 2. Don’t think you’re an island unto yourself. That would be a very bad mistake.”

“When it shows up the crime rate goes through the roof, violent crime, auto theft and identity theft,” he added. “(Abusers) are very psychotic. They don’t like police or authority figures. You will see a lot of violence. They are very aggressive.”

Sanderson spoke to a crowd of more than 100 local residents at the Kinsmen Centre Monday night. He presented the police’s strategy for the past three and half years on combating crystal meth abuse. It includes a public awareness campaign, educating first responders how to deal with abusers, retailer awareness, identifying trends early and recognizing that exposing children to drugs is child abuse.

“In the next sitting of the legislature, Alberta will be the first province to pass legislation calling it what it is, it’s child abuse.”

Because crystal meth is so difficult for an abuser to quit, Sanderson said prevention is the key throughout the province.

“We now have 49 communities mobilized to deal with the problem.”
The abuse of the drug seems to be more prevalent in communities where there are oilrig workers. Its abuse in the province is not yet epidemic.

“We are not at that point,” said Sanderson. “We have the ability to respond to this before it happens. This will scare the crap out of us but let’s keep it in perspective.”

One of 10 deaths in vehicle accidents involve the use of drugs with the three most common being marijuana, Tylenol 3s because of the codeine and alcohol.

“Next on the list are meth amphetamines,” said Sanderson.
Its abuse continues to grow at a rapid rate and the drug is highly addictive.

“It might happen the first time, it might happen the second time. Young people are more predisposed to develop addictive habits than adults because their brains are not fully developed yet. It’s very gratifying, has a tremendous euphoria and gives lots of energy.”
When the abuser injects or smokes it the high is faster and stronger. In five to 30 minutes they will feel a rush and have a high for anywhere from four to 16 hours.

But when they crash at the end they experience anxiety, depression and mental confusion. It takes approximately two to fourteen days to return to a normal state. Withdrawal lasts from 30 to 90 days. Because most detox centres involve 30 day stays but withdrawal for crystal meth lasts up to 90 days, Sanderson said it’s almost impossible for the abuser to quit.

“Their chance of recovering is pretty much zero. There are lots of relapses.”

When an individual comes out of rehab, it’s important to keep him/her away from old friends who abuse the drug because just talking about it can ignite a powerful, uncontrollable craving within the abuser.

“They are on an emotional roller coaster,” said Sanderson. “They often become suicidal because they start to think about the causes and they can’t get off.”

Another issue parents need to be aware of is the abuse of caffeine among school aged athletes before performing and especially in hockey.

“They are using caffeine and ephedrine before they play. We are not saying they will all get hooked but those are performance enhancing stimulants.”

Not only are these stimulants addictive but they are also deadly said Sanderson.

”If you over exert yourself it can cause dehydration or make your heart explode.”

“We like our stimulants and we are a very fast-paced society,” added Sanderson who pointed out it’s important for parents to be careful of the message they send their children.

Mayor Larry Henkelman said the town has been working with the local police detachment to inform the community of drug abuse and especially crystal meth in the community and possibly in their own families.

“The main thing is awareness and preventative measures. The town has talked with Sgt. Paul Sauers and we are trying to get some information awareness.”

Parents Jackie Huysmans and Nicole Norn attended just to learn more.
“I’m very naïve and I just wanted to know more,” said Norn.

“All of us have kids in that age group, teenagers,” said Huysmans.
Parents Andree Verhoog and Annette Fenske who home school their children also attended to learn more.

“I came just for the information,” said Verhoog.

“I think we’re a little more protected,” said Fenske who added, “Our kids’ friends talk about it. We don’t know what’s out there.”
Sanderson was surprised with the attendance saying, “It’s unbelievable.”

There is obviously a need for information.”


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