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.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

State bills aim to protect kids exposed to meth (Michigan)

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060212/NEWS01/602120708/1001/news
By Hannah Northey
Lansing State Journal


The spreading epidemic of methamphetamine production is so dangerous that state police and lawmakers are working on a plan to protect the most vulnerable victims - children who are exposed to it.

The plan is part of a package of 14 bills that will be outlined Monday to try to tackle the problems caused by the highly addictive and toxic drug.

There are no statewide guidelines for law enforcement to deal with the challenge of helping children exposed to meth labs.

"When meth is cooked, it becomes an aerosol - it's like a fine dust," said Detective Lt. Tony Saucedo, commander of the Michigan State Police methamphetamine team. "Kids can end up with respiratory problems from solvents or burns from ammonia."

The bills also lengthen probationary periods for people convicted of meth crimes, establish statewide criteria for cleaning up meth labs, and call for increased education and awareness in school districts.

The bills are written by the same legislators who sponsored a law making it harder to buy over-the-counter cold tablets, which contain an ingredient used to make meth.

The legislative push comes as the Department of Human Services and state police are creating a protocol to provide guidelines on how to respond to meth labs.

Meth - a concoction of ammonia, iodine, lithium, ether, sulfuric acid and anhydrous ammonia, to name a few ingredients - can affect children's learning and development throughout their lives.

E.J. McAndrew is a drug and alcohol prevention specialist who heads the Van Buren County Methamphetamine Task Force. He said repercussions of exposure to meth can range from tremors, high-pitched screaming and insomnia in infants to learning disabilities, delinquency, truancy and drug abuse in teenagers.

"A lot of the children we see are testing positive for the drug," McAndrew said.

"They can display hyperactivity, delay of development or birth defects if the mother is using."

In the absence of statewide guidelines, many counties have created their own protocols to deal with the cleanup of meth labs and children who are removed from labs.

About 56 labs have been found in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties since 1997. In some instances, children on the sites were directly exposed to the fumes and residues that resulted from the cooking of methamphetamine.

A total of 996 meth labs have been found statewide since 1997.

"This is the next step in the fight against meth," said state Sen. Patty Birkholz, R-Saugatuck, one of the legislators working on the bills.

"Little children are breathing this stuff and touching this stuff - and these are homes, not chemistry labs."

Lt. Tim Gill remembers a meth bust in DeWitt Township where he found children living next to a pole barn where meth was being cooked.

Police were called to the scene after a side wall blew out from an explosion.

"The kids there could tell us all the ingredients required to make meth," Gill said.

"We made sure they were removed from the home."

Contact Hannah Northey at 377-1052 or hnorthey@lsj.com.
How to help

• To report methamphetamine labs or trafficking, call the Michigan State Police methamphetamine tip line toll-free at (866) METH-TIP (638-4847) or the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad at 394-5588.

What to look for

Signs of possible meth exposure in children include:

• Watery, burning eyes with discharge

• Mild to severe burns

• Respiratory problems, including sneezing, coughing or difficulty breathing

• Vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain

• Jaundice

• Hallucinations

• Extreme irritability

Meth Awareness and Prevention Project: www.mappsd.org/index.htm

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