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.

My Photo
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, April 29, 2006

The Many Faces of Meth: A four-part series (Indiana)

Part IV - The face of rehabilitation

By Tim Young-Warrick Publishing Online

Editor's Note: This is the last in a four-part series of stories exploring the effects of methamphetamine on the people and culture of Warrick County.

A group of people sit quietly in Superior Court 1 waiting for the arrival of Judge Keith Meier. This is the last stop for the 15 to 20 convicted drug or alcohol offenders before heading to the Department of Corrections to serve sentences for their felonies.

As of right now, they have two choices, go to DOC or rehabilitate through the Warrick County Drunk Driving/Drug Court. Some of them have been in the program for several weeks and some of them have just started.

What is the drug court?

Meier described the drug court as a substance abuse program that is administered by the court.

The Many Faces of Meth: A four-part series (Indiana)

Part IV - The face of rehabilitation

By Tim Young-Warrick Publishing Online

Editor's Note: This is the last in a four-part series of stories exploring the effects of methamphetamine on the people and culture of Warrick County.

A group of people sit quietly in Superior Court 1 waiting for the arrival of Judge Keith Meier. This is the last stop for the 15 to 20 convicted drug or alcohol offenders before heading to the Department of Corrections to serve sentences for their felonies.

As of right now, they have two choices, go to DOC or rehabilitate through the Warrick County Drunk Driving/Drug Court. Some of them have been in the program for several weeks and some of them have just started.

What is the drug court?

Meier described the drug court as a substance abuse program that is administered by the court.

The Meth Mistake: Chapter 1(Idaho)

Rebellion: Drug creates a junkie, a coldhearted criminal
By Matt Christensen
Times-News writer

Today was a good day. Scraping old paint off the kitchen windowsills proved an easier job than they expected.

Heather and T.J. Harbaugh, young newlyweds, spent this Saturday in early January updating the old two-level farmhouse they'd recently bought on the west end of Jerome. The renovation dragged on. It was just the two of them, and most of the work was tedious, like today's paint project.

Still, they scraped old paint, chiseled bathroom tiles and sanded floors with giddy enthusiasm. This is the home where they'll escape their dark pasts, begin their lives together, raise their family and grow old.

Heather, 21, stepped back to look at her progress.

"This wood is gonna be gorgeous, baby," she muttered. T.J., 26, glanced down from the ladder where he was removing paint from a ceiling crossbeam, squinting to protect his eyes from the smoke of a cigarette that fluttered between his lips.

"Yup, looks good."

Heather drew her metal scraping tool across the windowsill and watched the brittle paint crumble to the floor. So satisfying.

Since buying the property a few months earlier, T.J. and Heather had hauled out hundreds of pounds of trash left by previous residents, including pots of rotting food still on the stove. Garbage had covered every floor.

The Harbaughs suspected they were cleaning up after methamphetamine addicts. The scent of burned rubber radiated from the walls, the trash. Then they found burned spoons and glass pipes likely used to cook and smoke the drug.

T.J. and Heather know the signs. They know meth -- intimately. Both are recovering addicts.

It wasn't long ago that Heather lived in places like the house they're now fixing up. Places where she was raped and beaten. Places where dealers like T.J. made thousands. Places in Twin Falls and Jerome. Where teenagers shot dope. Where stolen goods were traded for drugs. Where Heather longed to die.

County Board hears of meth's dangers (Duluth, Minnesota)

Severe health and behavioral disorders are among the reactions people suffer by using the illegal drug methamphetamine, Douglas County Board supervisors heard from experts Thursday.

Det. Mike Miller of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department's narcotics bureau provided information about the highly addictive drug -- including how and where it's made, its contents, how it affects a person's body, who is using it and how usage is increasing in the county.

Made of such dangerous chemicals as lye, ammonia, ether, hydrochloric acid, drain cleaner and engine-starting fluid, methamphetamine creates a long-lasting and potent high. But meth destroys dopamine receptors in the brain, making it impossible to feel pleasure. Over time, more and more of the drug is needed to create the euphoric feeling. According to Miller, users get a rush within 5-30 minutes that usually lasts for 4-16 hours.

In comparison, a cocaine high generally lasts 20-30 minutes and typically is much more expensive.

"You get more bang for you buck with meth; it's that potent," he said. "It's metabolized very slowly through a body. It takes several days for a dose to be eliminated."

Users then "binge" on the drug to try and maintain the high. This can last 3-15 days. Soon after, Miller said, the body can't take much more since the user is anxious, hyper and isn't sleeping. This is called "tweaking."

Within 1-3 days users come down hard, which is known as "crashing." They sleep for days and, in some cases, have someone nearby to wake them up to eat or go to the bathroom because they won't do it on their own.

Two to 14 days later, they begin feeling normal again. Withdrawal follows 30-90 days after the last hit. Miller said quitting the drug is difficult, in part because withdrawal takes so long.

For example, a user may be court-ordered for a 30-day treatment program, but withdrawal doesn't begin until the end of the stay.

"We have not had much success helping people get off meth, and this is one of the reasons," he said.

Another reason is the person's mood. Because the person's levels of dopamine -- a brain chemical -- are altered, the person feels like they are in a gray zone. Meth, they think, is the only way to escape.

"People may have to be medicated for the rest of their life just to feel normal," Miller said, adding it takes years before dopamine levels reach healthy numbers. "Your brain after meth addiction will not go back to normal. It may get better, but not normal."

Overall, fewer than 5 percent of meth users recover, he said.

Meth also transforms the user into a different person. Users become delusional, violent, paranoid, stop eating and won't sleep. Miller said he has been accused by users of spying on them by hiding in trees or following them in hang gliders.

Supervisor Bean Prettie, manager of the Anchor Inn, said more and more meth users are coming to the tavern. She questioned how employees should deal with them since they can anger quickly.

"We don't know how to handle them," she said. "They can turn in a second."

Users also begin to hallucinate, seeing insects crawling under their skin, for instance. They pick at the area and create sores. The meth also causes an increase in body temperature, heart and blood pressure rates, nausea, shaking and stroke.

"It doesn't just damage the body, it actually tortures the body," Miller said. "It changes you completely."

Known as crystal, speed, ice and crank, meth is primarily manufactured in Mexico, then transported to the Twin Cities for distribution in northern Wisconsin. Miller said meth use is high in rural areas. Polk, St. Croix and Barron counties also are seeing high numbers of meth use. And the drug is not discriminating -- users come in all ages from preteen to middle age.

The spike in meth use in Douglas County is putting added pressure on law enforcement and health and human services. Rhoda Nagorski, intake and assessment supervisor for the child protection division, said her office is dealing with meth-related cases every day.

"People who are using meth are living pretty violent lifestyles," she said. "There are often weapons in the home, pornography in the home. We have to be careful about sending a case worker into a home where a person is suspicious and violent."

Miller said he also has seen cases where family members share the habit, an oddity because with other drugs children try to keep their habit from their parents and vice versa.

"There are really no boundaries for it," Miller said. "It's scary."

He urged supervisors to watch for suspicious activity or grouping of meth-making chemicals or equipment. He recommended people not approach a meth lab or equipment because breathing the chemicals can damage the lungs or cause even worse health problems.

Anyone with information concerning meth may contact Miller at (715) 395-1537.

"The information is appreciated because it lets us do our job better," he said.

Grandmother could lose granddaughter to foster care (Hawaii)

A grandmother who's committed to raising her grand-daughter stands to lose the child to a foster home.

That's troubling and even scary to the grandmother because a few days ago, her other grand-daughter died in foster care.

Police have opened a first-degree assault case in the death of the two-month-old girl, who lived in a foster home.

The dead baby's half-sister has always lived with her grandmother.

K-Lyn loves her pet mice. She explains they're a family and she shows us how the mother mouse watches out for her babies, pulling each one to shelter.

The little girl has been told the infant half-sister she never got to know went to heaven.

Baby Alana was taken from her drug-using mother at the hospital and placed in a foster care, where she suffered five suspicious bone fractures. The cause of her death at age two months has not been determined.

At age 4, K-Lyn is healthy and happy.

"I don't want her to be like Alana and be abused," says Ella Yamamoto, grandmother.

Grandmother Ella Yamamoto says Child Protective Services has given her a deadline to meet before it finds a foster home for K-Lyn.

The trigger was Alana testing positive at birth for crystal meth. CPS became concerned about other children in the mother's legal custody. While K-Lyn has lived with tutu since birth and state documents identify her as the custodial parent, K-Lyn's mother has legal custody.

Yamamoto says she's been told there's only one thing keeping her from becoming K-Lyn's foster or adoptive parent -- the van she lives in is not considered proper shelter for K-Lyn.

"We have a roof over our head, but it's a car for now. But I need to find a place for now 'cause CPS will take her from me in three weeks," says Yamamoto.

K-Lyn has many neatly kept possessions and a regular schedule. Tutu works in a restaurant; papa is Mister Mom until K-Lyn starts school and he can get a paying job.

Ella Yamamoto keeps the mood light with K-Lyn, but she's desperately looking for a very affordable home while making burial arrangements for the granddaughter who died in foster care.

CPS tells Yamamoto she must provide a two-bedroom home in order to qualify to keep K-Lyn.§ionID=1151

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jay Addresses Effect of Methamphetamine Crisis on Children (Washington DC)

By HNN Staff

Washington, DC (HNN) – Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) shared with his Senate Finance Committee colleagues Tuesday, April 25, 2006, the importance of addressing the effects of the methamphetamine crisis on children.

Rockefeller has been a leader in providing West Virginia officials with resources to help them fight meth in West Virginia’s town and communities. And with his expertise on children’s issues, Rockefeller is leading the charge in Congress to consider how the crisis specifically affects children.

“West Virginia, like too many states, is struggling with a severe problem with the meth epidemic,” Rockefeller said in a written statement for the hearing on “Effects of Methamphetamine on the Child Welfare System.” Rockefeller is recuperating from recent back surgery. “This crisis is devastating our families, our law enforcement officials, and most tragically our child welfare system.

“We know arrests are up due to meth, and in many states, including West Virginia, we are seeing press reports of out-of-home placements for children on the rise as well. We need to determine how we can help our law enforcement officials and our child welfare system with this growing problem. How can we educate and support foster families that take in children devastated by meth, and how do we support a full and prompt recovery, if possible, for their parents?”

At a roundtable with law enforcement officials in Charleston last year, Rockefeller learned first-hand about the situation of West Virginia children living in homes with meth labs and suffering because of their parents’ addiction. When he returned to Washington, he began pushing for today’s hearing, the first time in almost a decade that the Senate Finance Committee has held a hearing on child welfare.

“Today marks just the first step,” said Rockefeller. “We need to do more. These children are very vulnerable, and it’s important that we get to the bottom of the way that meth is affecting these children and disrupting the child welfare system itself.”

Rockefeller hopes that the hearing will lead to a bipartisan Senate effort that will provide services to the victims of methamphetamine, particularly children.

Last year, Rockefeller helped found the Senate Anti-Meth Caucus to promote states working together on anti-meth initiatives. The Caucus will investigate ways that the federal government could better coordinate its anti-meth efforts with state and local first responders.

Rockefeller is also calling for Congress to reauthorize the Safe and Stable Families Program, which is part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The program invests in prevention services for families and support for adoption of children from the foster care system. Prior to 1997, less than 25,000 children were adopted from foster care on an annual basis, but today that number is over 40,000.

Kindergartner on bike leads Long Beach police to meth lab (California)

LONG BEACH, Calif. - A 5-year-old boy riding his bicycle alone in rush-hour traffic led police to a methamphetamine lab, authorities said.

A patrol officer spotted the kindergartner Wednesday evening and drove him home so he could speak with the child's parents, said Sgt. David Cannan, a Long Beach Police Department spokesman.

While the officer talked to the boy's grandmother in front of the house, the child's father bolted out of a back window, Cannan said.

"It turned out what he was running from was a meth lab in the home," he said.

Police tracked down the father, Brian Lopez, 24, and arrested him for investigation of manufacturing a controlled substance, parole violations and on a warrant for driving with a suspended license, said Long Beach police Officer Skip Kerr.

The grandmother, Antonette Cora Zabica, 52, was arrested for investigation of child cruelty and manufacturing a controlled substance, he said.

Another man found in the house, Patrick Crandell, 55, was arrested for investigation of manufacturing and sales of a controlled substance.

Zabica was being held on $100,000 bail while Lopez and Crandell were being held without bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Inmate Information Center.

The 5-year-old was taken into protective custody by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Cannan said.

A hazardous materials crew cleaned out the lab, he said.

House passes bills to address meth labs (Michigan)

LANSING, Mich. The state House has unanimously passed legislation aimed at helping communities deal with the aftereffects of methamphetamine labs.

The multi-bill package primarily affects the cleanup of sites contaminated by meth production and investigation into cases where children have been exposed to meth labs or their fumes.

Other bills deal with tracking the number and location of meth-related offenses to get a better handle on the problem in Michigan.

The bills now head to the Senate.

Meth is a growing problem in Michigan. At least 250 labs were busted in the state last year.

N.H. tries to head off meth problems (New Hampshire)

By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- Cold and flu season may be behind us, but area residents may be shocked to learn that soon they will have to sign a logbook to combat a runny nose.
Last month, when the federal government reauthorized the USA Patriot Act, it added a provision that governs the retail sale of all cough and cold products that contain chemicals -- called precursors -- that are often used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

In New Hampshire, a bill with provisions similar to those in the Patriot Act, was defeated in the Legislature. The bill would have allowed local police officers enforce the state's version of the regulations.

"The feds do not have New Hampshire as their top priority in prosecuting these cases," said Deb Hogancamp, R-Chesterfield, who, as co-chair of the Legislative Caucus on Methamphetamine, has sponsored a handful of bills aimed to head off meth production in her state.

"We've studied the problem that other states have had, from California to across the country," said Hogancamp. "They had to learn all of this by watching their kids who were wasting away and seeing their homes and lands become contaminated."

Hogancamp said letting the federal government deal with the problem under the auspices of the Patriot Act would be easier and cheaper for New Hampshire, but having its own set of laws on the books would allow it to prosecute its own crimes at its own pace.

Hogancamp's legislation is partly driven by the fact that in 18 months, 18 meth labs were busted in New England, 12 of them in New Hampshire.

"Our communities are having to deal with a problem that can become quite harmful, not only to drug takers and manufacturers but also to those living nearby," said Hogancamp.

House Bill 1713, which Hogancamp sponsored, would have restricted the over-the-counter sales of medicines containing precursors.

Rep. Henry Parkhurst, D-Winchester, said the bill failed because legislators were concerned about the financial impact of such legislation on the state and its consumers. He added that there was also some confusion on who would administer the program, but said some sort of legislation is required.

See the rest of this story at:

Speed television (California)

Sara Watson Arthurs The Times-Standard

HUMBOLDT HILL -- It's time to talk seriously about methamphetamine in this community.

That's the message of several related efforts to educate the public about the dangers of methamphetamine. Television and radio documentaries, a guidebook and a theater piece are all gaining steam.

KEET-TV staff showed a clip from the public television station's new documentary, “Life After Meth: Facing the North Coast Methamphetamine Crisis,” at a Wednesday press conference.

The documentary will air Tuesday, along with a separate documentary made by Zoe Barnum High School students with the help of KEET. They include interviews with recovering addicts, drug counselors, law enforcement and community members.

The station received $104,500 in grants from the Benton Foundation and the California Endowment to create a methamphetamine awareness campaign in partnership with Lost Coast Communications, the high school, the Raven Project, North Coast AIDS Project and Humboldt County Mental Health Dual Recovery Services. Representatives of all these agencies were on hand for the press conference.

Lost Coast Communications has created its own two-part documentary, which will run May 10 and 11 on the company's radio stations. Both Lost Coast Communications and the Zoe Barnum students also created public service announcements.

The radio PSAs were played at the press conference. In one, a woman describes the toll meth use took on her body -- including a stroke and memory problems. Lost Coast Communications Program Director Mike Dronkers said the station aimed to avoid a didactic “Just Say No” approach, instead looking at the complex issue in more detail.

See the rest of this story at:

Monday, April 24, 2006

Meth hits home (Tennessee)

by Jessica Stith
of The Daily Times Staff

Innocent children are being burned and blistered by chemicals in the carpets they crawl on, the clothes they wear and the toys they play with.

They are being taken away from their families to get them out of the methamphetamine labs being run in their homes.

Meth is destroying families. It is straining the resources of Tennessee's medical and dental organizations.

According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, trauma patients who use meth are likely to incur medical costs $4,000 higher than the general population.

Dr. David Lynn, emergency room physician at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, said the most important point he can emphasize is that meth usage ``is more common than we realize.''

Lynn said most patients who use meth -- people likely to generate much higher medical bills -- generally do not have medical insurance.

Lynn said meth users incur greater hospital costs because the drug debilitates the body.

``There is muscle loss; people are frail and in pretty poor shape when they come in to us,'' Lynn said. ``It is more difficult for them to recover, and it takes more time for them to recover.''

Another big concern of Lynn's: the children. When hospital personnel believe a child has been exposed to a meth lab or is neglected by parents who use meth, there are specific steps the hospital staff must take to determine the health status of the child.

Children living in a home where meth is produced are exposed to a multitude of hazardous chemicals. Lynn said those children usually have an odor on their clothing from the chemicals and abnormally high blood pressure, usually resulting from the pseudoephedrine used to make meth.

Medical personnel look for respiratory problems in these children and perform blood tests to make sure the liver and kidneys are healthy because the chemicals affect those areas. Lynn said another common find on children exposed to home meth labs are blisters from the chemicals.

In a survey polling 500 sheriff's offices in 45 states, the National Association of Counties found that 40 percent of child welfare officials surveyed reported methamphetamine has led to an increase in the number of children removed from their homes.

Drug abuse and suicide are top concerns of regional leaders (Indian Country, South Dakota)

by: David Melmer / Indian Country Today

David Melmer Indian Country -- Department of Health and Human Services Tribal Affairs Specialist Stacey Ecoffey told tribal leaders and federal officials that HHS is developing a program designed to tackle of disease, drug abuse and other health care issues on reservations.

RAPID CITY, S.D. - Emerging priorities in health care in Indian country are as diverse as Indian country itself and difficult to categorize. Federal and state health officials recently heard comments from tribal leaders and health care professionals who laid out a litany of concerns and complaints about health care. Many offered solutions to some of the problems, which range from alcohol and drug use, diabetes, lack of dialysis units, cancer, heart problems and other diseases, suicide and mental health. For some tribes, the latter two top the priorities list. Julia Doney, president of the Fort Belknap Tribal Council, lost one nephew to suicide; lost a granddaughter who was 20 days old; saved her son from suicide; and lost another nephew who is serving life in prison. ''He gets better health care [in prison],'' she said. This same nephew would jump off the bus on his way to Head Start disheveled, food on his face and overweight, Doney said, but he would jump into her arms when he saw her and hug her tight as if to say, ''I'm safe.'' ''I knew he didn't sleep. His parents had a party.

In a drunken and drug-induced stupor he shot a police officer. His health is now taken care of. He was not taken care of enough when he was young. ''There are children outside of their homes while parents fight inside. [The kids go outside] when [they] hear that the loud voices don't bother them anymore. Our communities are hurting,'' she said. Tribal leaders, she added, have not found the answers to ''stop the bleeding.'' ''When I seen, them I ask myself, 'What are you doing for them?' I beg for someone who has more power than I to help. ''If we are not well mentally, all the good food won't help,'' Doney said. More than one person told a story about a close relative - a son or daughter who committed suicide or who was addicted to alcohol or methamphetamine or other drugs. The stories brought a face to the priorities American Indian communities have in health care. ''When we talk about suicide, we see the bodies hanging from the ropes,'' said Jesse Taken Alive, Standing Rock Sioux tribal council member.

State health officials from four states in Region 8 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services listened to the pleas for help. Many of those people were more than willing to partner with tribes to attempt improvements in health care. ''The region is willing to work with tribal governments,'' said Joe Nunez, director of HHS' Region 8. Most people at the consultation have been to numerous consultations in the past, and all agreed that very little is being done. Nunez made a commitment to meet with tribes and states and tribal colleges to work toward solutions. ''I've been to four of these consultations, and I agree with much of what was said here,'' said Hugh Baker, Three Affiliated Tribes, ''but I also agree that people come and share our frustrations but nothing happens.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

For the young man in Malaysia reaching out for help with your depression after being off of meth for 2 weeks, I have found the following options from some of my friends in Malaysia. Please seek one of these out and I can only encourage you to stay away from meth and all other drugs. Choose life.

1. KAWAN (malay for 'friend')
by Youth With A Mission Malaysia
(functions as a drop-in center)

Mainly for pre and post re-hab.
Screening & Interview done first to identify needs/pending cases, KAWAN will assist accordingly
They also help successful rehab candidates to find jobs.

10-1 Tingkat 1
Jalan Nyonya
Pudu, 55100
Kuala Lumpur (Near Pudu Plaza)

Contact: Albert
Tel: 2148 8161
Opening Hours: 9.30am- 4.00pm (Tues, Wed, Fri)

2. CARE CENTER (by Full Gospel Assembly KL)
Drug Rehab Center

Address: 326 Lorong 3D
Kampung Baru Subang
40000 Shah Alam (Past the old subang airport, on a hill)

Contact: Ps. George / Simon
Tel: 7846 1914
Opening Hours: 9.00am - 6.00pm

2 yrs program
Candidates will be interviewd before admission
Must not have any pending court cases
Fees: Refundable deposit of RM 500 (upon completion of program)
Registration: RM 200
Monthly Fees & personal Exp: RM 300 (RM250 & RM 50 respectively)

Drug Rehab Center

24 Lorong Jugra
3 1/2 Mile Jalan Klang Lama

Contact: Richard Lee (from Cornerstone Doulos Church)
Tel: 016 - 611 5129

Interviews with clients are done mostly on Fridays from 3-6pm

Chinese staff.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another Meth Bust At Lebanon House (Ohio)

Meth Lab Found In Warren County Garage (3/28/06)

Reported by: 9News
Web produced by: Mark Sickmiller

An address in Lebanon is becoming more and more familiar to police officers.

For the second time in two weeks, police have arrested drug suspects at 830 Franklin Road.

First, police stopped a car leaving the driveway and the suspect admitted smoking marijuana.

Then, police came back and found Ronald Burke of Middletown and James Taylor of Hamilton in a barn behind the house allegedly making methamphetamine.

Burke's brother was arrested there two weeks ago.

All the suspects were in the Lebanon city jail Wednesday night.

Meth lab found in Milton (West Virginia)

By Antwon Pinkston
The Herald-Dispatch

MILTON-- Milton police broke up a methamphetamine lab Monday after receiving an anonymous tip from a community member.

Police arrived at the residence in the 1400 block of Glenwood Street about 9 p.m. and asked a man there to search his trailer. But the man refused.

"When we opened the door, you could smell a strong amount of chemicals coming from inside," said Milton Police Chief Gregg Mullins. "From that point, we contacted members of the Huntington Drug & Violent Crime Task Force and obtained a search warrant by 11:08 p.m. that night."

When police returned to the residence with a search warrant, the man was gone.

Mullins said a warrant has been issued for Gregory Conley, who police believe was living in the trailer. A warrant also is being developed for a female, who police believe left the residence with Conley. Mullins said they believe the suspect has been convicted previously on similar charges and is in violation of his parole.

While searching the trailer, police found a meth lab in one of the bedrooms, drug paraphernalia and paper work that indicate connections to Detroit.

"This is our third bust this week so it's (meth labs) becoming a very serious problem," Mullins said.

Survey says anti-meth ads hitting home (Montana)

By MICHAEL MOORE of the Missoulian

With a new string of gripping advertisements about to debut Thursday, one way to gauge the early success of the Montana Meth Project is by listening to children and their parents.

Children, a just-released survey by the privately funded project finds, have noted a dramatic increase in their parents talking about the drug with them since the ad campaign began late last year. And about half the parents in the survey said they talked with their children as a direct result of the ads, which have aired on TV and radio, and appeared in newspapers and on billboards and the Internet.

“We are starting to move the meter on meth,” said Tom Siebel, the software billionaire who has thus far financed the meth project.

Siebel, founder of the company Siebel Systems, offered an update on the project in a Helena presentation that was broadcast around the state Wednesday morning. The project has just completed a survey assessing the efficacy of the ad campaign, as its new campaign begins.

Kids, Siebel said, are getting the message. The meth project commissioned a survey before it began its first campaign last September; the most recent survey, conducted in March, found children much more likely to understand the negative consequences of meth use. Teens are also more likely now to reject the idea that meth offers benefits - that they would be more attractive, more popular and happier.

“This is the wrong stuff to experiment with,” said Siebel, who owns several ranches in Montana and has been the guiding force behind the meth project.

Teens seem to agree. About 82 percent of those surveyed said their friends would criticize them if they used the drug, and 73 percent said they were willing to tell their friends not to use meth.

See the rest of the update at:

Purported Gang Chief Is Held on Meth Count (California)

By Juliet Chung, Times Staff Writer

An Anaheim man imprisoned after two police officers and a civilian were killed in a 1987 helicopter crash while pursuing him has been charged with selling methamphetamine.

Vincent William Acosta, 38, who authorities say is a north Orange County leader of the Mexican Mafia, is also charged with possessing a gun and drugs. He appeared in court Wednesday where a $1-million bond was set.

He could receive a 136-year prison sentence if convicted on all counts.

Acosta was arrested in 1987 after police helicopters from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa collided while chasing him. He was driving a stolen car.

Killed were Costa Mesa Officers James D. Ketchum, 39, and John W. Libolt, 39, and Jeffrey A. Pollard, 27, a civilian observer from Tustin who was riding with them.

Acosta led officers from five agencies on a 45-minute nighttime chase during which he drove as fast as 90 mph, without lights and on the wrong side of the road, before he fled on foot and was captured.

He spent about 10 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter after an appellate court overturned his conviction on three counts of murder.

Read the remainder of the story at:,1,6115846.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

The Many Faces of Meth: A four-part series (Indiana)

Part III - Its effects on children

By Tim Young-Warrick Publishing Online

Editor's Note: This is the third in a four-part series of stories exploring the effects of methamphetamine on the people and culture of Warrick County.

The surge of methamphetamine usage among Warrick County residents not only leaves its damaging effects on its users and the neighborhoods in which it is produced, but on local children, who are typically too young to know what's going on.

Currently, Child Protection Services (CPS) of Warrick County has 62 wards that are in the care and custody of the department.

“At least 27 of the wards are directly drug-related,” said Judith Harper, director of CPS. “We are seeing more and more with meth (cases) than we have in the past. Meth, of course, is a problem here.”

The charges that outline the arrest records of many meth users often include neglect of a dependent.

If you would like to see the rest of this story or read Part 1 and 2, please go to the following url:

“We need to realize... these are community problems and it takes all of us in the community to help solve them, as well as prevent them,” said Harper. “I don't think (people) are aware of how big a problem it is.”

With almost 50 percent of the caseloads at CPS reflecting drug usage, Harper said the most alarming trend is the amount of babies that are being born with illegal substances in their system.

Per state law, hospitals are required to notify CPS anytime a newborn is found with illegal substances in their body.

Other ways that CPS learns about children of neglect is through the interaction of family members, neighbors or local law enforcement.

“Most of the kids (that CPS takes custody of) are pretty young,” said Harper. “If someone calls us because they feel a child is being neglected...and we find out that (the parents) are using, those are usually pretty young children.”

Meth labs pose a strong danger to children, not only from inhaling the chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process, but reports across the nation have cited that children have been found crawling through needles and other precursors.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mesa considers meth policy (Arizona)

By Vanessa White, Independent Newspapers

Poised to join Valley cities in addressing the methamphetamine epidemic, Mesa officials will study provisions of the Congress-approved Patriot Act, which requires pharmacists to log purchases of medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make meth.

In question is whether Mesa should authorize its police units to enforce the law as other cities have or further restrict pseudoephedrine sales.

The Patriot Act renewal cleared the U.S. Senate March 2 and the U.S. House of Representatives March 7.

“When we took the ordinance to City Council last month, we wanted to wait and see if the Patriot Act passed because it contained an extensive section of pseudoephedrine sales,” said Jim Huling, assistant to Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. “It did pass, so the city attorney’s office is preparing a report of what is contained in the Act.”

City Council should be discussing possible new ordinance measures this week.

According to Mr. Huling, passage of the Patriot Act may negate the need for a local ordinance.

“The federal legislation contains everything that is in our ordinance and more,” Mr. Huling said. “Local governments are required to pass a bill that is more restrictive, not less.”

The rest of the story can be viewed at:

Rancho Cordova Daycare Shutdown After Meth Found (California)

A Rancho Cordova daycare is shutdown after police arrest the owner after they found methamphetamines just feet away from where children were playing.

Police raided the Rancho Cordova home and daycare last Thursday to find a stash of the drug.

They arrested 35-year-old Tiffany Marsh and her husband Jamal Hoskins
Neighbors say they had no idea an investigation was going on.

Marsh has owned the daycare for 9 years with a good record.

When CBS 13 contacted her by phone, Marsh said she had no idea the drugs were in her home.

Methamphetamine: One sister's story (New Mexico)


When it comes to problems caused by methamphetamine use, the physical difficulties faced by users are generally those thought of first. But beyond the tooth decay, mental problems and cardiac difficulties, there are the problems of the heart: family members and friends whose hearts are broken when their loved ones set out on the road to addiction.

Researchers agree that methamphetamine addicts are a unique group of subjects who exhibit different characteristics than those who are addicted to other drugs like heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Santiago Rodriguez, program director of the Otero County Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,believes these addicts require different treatment routines than other addicts and have far different problems when it comes to relating to family issues.

"It's very, very different," Rodriguez said, "from the way we do the assessment on the client to their after care planning. I haven't been able to prove it or not, but from my personal observation (with methamphetamine), the drug is so powerful, the draw to it is so powerful that they (addicts) will consciously .... not having any physical effect, not being high, will straight to your face tell you 'I don't care about the kids (or family members), I just want to get high. I don't care about my job I don't care about my house I just want to go out and party.'"

One local woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, recently related her experiences with her sister's addiction to methamphetamine.

Jane Doe works in the healthcare industry and had a little knowledge about methamphetamines and methamphetamine abuse. About a year ago some phone calls alerted her to a possible problem with her sister.

"Her co-workers called me," Jane said. "They said she was exhibiting erratic behavior. She was 'subject jumping' a lot, couldn't keep a train of thought and wasn't showing up for work."

Jane's sister owned a thriving business at the time of the phone calls.

"This was the girl who, for 20 years, never missed an appointment," said Jane. "She had great pride in her profession."

Concerned, Jane went to visit her sister at her lavish home.

"She had it all," Jane said.

But as soon as her sister opened the door, Jane said, the fact that something was wrong was very apparent.

"The first thing I noticed was the weight loss," Jane said. "She had dropped a good 40 pounds. Then her skin. She always had beautiful skin and she had sores all over her face."

During the visit Jane's sister wouldn't look Jane in the eye even when speaking and seemed unable to go for long without a trip to the bathroom.

"She wouldn't look at me," said Jane. "She would look at the floor. And she went to the bathroom a lot. Sometimes she was in there a long time. It was very apparent there was a problem."

Jane was unwilling to ignore the situation, but was concerned about making sure her suspicions were correct.

"I didn't confront her because I wanted to be sure," said Jane.

Instead, she contacted her sister's husband (who was working out of town at the time) and asked him about the situation.

"He told me she was using meth," said Jane.

It turned out to be a family affair. The sister's husband had also been using methamphetamine.

The rest of the story can be read at:

Meth Conference Focuses On Kids (Nebraska)

They are often referred to as the "invisible lives" because many don't realize how many children are living in meth addicted families.

In Norfolk, Nebraska, this week, experts are gathering for a two-day conference focusing on ways of helping children. It's sponsored by the local CASCADE group which stands for Community Awareness Saves Children Against Drug Environments. CASCADE officials say children not only see a number of physical, psychological and emotional effects from a parent using meth, but research also finds it's hard for the child to return home after bonding with a foster parent. "Some children have been placed for a good portion of their life, especially if they are babies," said Alfredo Ramierez, CASCADE Member. "They are spending 50 to 60% of their lives in a foster home and that makes it very difficult, especially if the parent continues to use."

The meth conference talks not only about children and their effects from the dangerous drug methamphetamine, but also effective parenting and how that can lead to prevention. "There are some kids who are coming from amazing and wonderful homes who are being introduced to this in the school, they are getting introduced to it at college, they are getting introduced to it on the street," said Dr. Kathryn Wells, keynote speaker. "So, I think we as parents have to educate our children that this is something that will without a doubt impact your life."

The two-day event continues through Wednesday.,10540

Addicted to Red Tape (British Columbia, Canada)

Permission denied, again and again. Open a treatment centre? 'No' is the official habit.

By David Berner
People have tried. But governments, one after another, year after year, have resisted. Drug treatment just isn't sexy.

I'll show you.

The Vancouver Sun newspaper reported recently that Victoria has one treatment bed for young crystal meth addicts. One.

A parents group called "From Grief to Action" has cried out publicly for several years now that there are no facilities for their addicted children. The home base of this group is Kerrisdale. For those who can afford it, the children are often sent to centres in America.

We are told repeatedly by the politicians that we enjoy in this province "Four Pillars" of response to the problem: harm reduction, enforcement, prevention and treatment. But it is abundantly clear to even the most rosy-eyed believer among us that what we have is one pillar and three match sticks. Harm reduction, in the form of safe injection sites, needle exchanges and free heroin programs, rule. Enforcement, prevention and treatment are given short shrift and even less money.

Thank God then for the entrepreneurial spirit.

Three very wealthy people have, in recent years, tried to launch treatment programs for young addicts in this province. They have put their own considerable financial resources behind their goals. They have put their money where their mouths are and where your mouth is and where the mouths of citizens are.

That's the good news.

Here's the bad news. Two have walked away, frustrated and empty-handed. The third has folded his tent and moved to another, more accommodating district.

The rest of the story at:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I would like to make a comment on the story I posted on April 8, 2006. The heading was:

Father sentenced to life in murder of his son (Tennessee)

I am responding specifically to the part of the story that said; " In the two weeks before his death, Lex sustained 23 broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken leg — all of which went untreated. At the time of his death, his tiny body was a mass of bruises, cuts, tears, burns and scrapes."

I received a response from a reader that stated:
Anonymous said...
Newsflash lady, nobody has 23 damn ribs!! Once again, you're going for the shock effect and manipulating the numbers to scare people into believeing that meth addicts are all scary, violent people.

I did some research and responded with:

There are Twelve pairs of flexible, archlike ribs form the lateral portions of the thoracic cage. They increase in length from the first to the seventh and then decrease again from the eighth to the twelfth.
(Weinreb, E. L. 1984. Anatomy and Physiology. Addison Wesley Publ. Co., Inc. Menlo Park, CA. p. 345.)

So, I wanted to post this information in case there was anyone else out there who was unsure of anatomy. Thank you. Kim

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Message from the Director

Communities across the country are trying to respond to increased abuse of methamphetamine, a powerfully addictive stimulant
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has long recognized the danger of methamphetamine abuse, and has actively supported research on this and related drugs. Understanding methamphetamine's effects on the brain and behavior is critical to developing both prevention and treatment strategies.

Methamphetamine is a long-acting and very potent stimulant drug. It can be snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked, and it is frequently taken in combination with other drugs. Like other drugs of abuse, methamphetamine produces a sense of euphoria by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain's reward centers.

When dopamine is liberated in such high concentrations, it can damage dopamine cells. Indeed, several studies in laboratory animals have corroborated this. In humans, imaging studies have shown that methamphetamine abusers show abnormalities in dopamine function resulting in impairments in movement and cognitive function that are similar, though of a lesser severity, to those seen in patients with Parkinson's disease. The good news is that unlike Parkinson's disease, where the damage to the brain cannot be reversed, with protracted abstinence from methamphetamine, there is some return of function. This further highlights the importance of instituting treatment for methamphetamine abusers to maximize their chances of a successful recovery.

There are other dangerous effects of methamphetamine. The large increases in dopamine produced by methamphetamine can trigger psychosis that in some instances persists months after drug use has stopped. Also, because methamphetamine affects the contraction of blood vessels it can result in heart attacks and strokes in relatively young patients.

In addition to its effects on the brain, methamphetamine use is inextricably linked to risky sexual behaviors, thus increasing the risk for transmission of infectious diseases, including HIV. The recent case of a methamphetamine abuser with a particularly virulent strain of HIV is a sobering reminder of this connection. Those who inject the drug risk contracting HIV through the sharing of contaminated equipment, and methamphetamine's physiological effects may also favor HIV transmission and progression. Preliminary studies suggest that HIV-positive methamphetamine abusers who are on antiretroviral therapy are at greater risk of progressing to AIDS than non-users. Furthermore, interactions between methamphetamine and HIV itself may lead to greater neuronal damage and functional impairment.

Methamphetamine addiction can be treated successfully using currently available behavioral treatments and NIDA is also investing in the development of new medications for methamphetamine addiction. NIDA also is pursuing the development of an immunization strategy based on monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of methamphetamine overdose.

In addition to funding research in this important area, NIDA has a great deal of information on its website about the health effects of methamphetamine abuse that we hope you will find helpful.


Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Read my Senate Testimony on Methamphetamine from April 21, 2005

Read Testimony at:

According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 12 million Americans have tried methamphetamine. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health - SAMHSA web site.

See more information at:

Methamphetamine: What is it? Many reasons It's all in the mix Clandestine toxic waste (New Mexico)

What the future holds

Otero County is in the midst of an epidemic. It's not the bird flu, nor is it the Hanta virus. It's a plague. Some law enforcement officers call it a blight. It's methamphetamine. And these officers believe it's taking over the hearts and minds of many Otero County residents.

Many people haven't a clue as to what, exactly, methamphetamine is. They know it's an illegal substance, but they have no idea what kind of substance it is.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines methamphetamine as "an amine used medically in the form of its crystalline hydrochloride, especially in the treatment of obesity and often used illicitly as a stimulant -- called also methedrine."

On the street, methamphetamine is called ice, crystal and glass, among other things. While methamphetamine comes in different forms, both powder and crystallized, police report the most commonly used form in Otero County has the appearance of shards of glass.

As with many illegal drugs, methamphetamine started its journey into infamy as a legitimate drug.

While historical accounts vary, Narcanon claims on its Web site that methamphetamine was first created in 1887 in Germany, beginning its life as simply amphetamine. It wasn't until the 1920s that scientists and doctors began to use the drug as a treatment for a variety of illnesses.

Eventually, the drug began to be prescribed for nasal congestion and asthma and it wasn't long before it was first abused as a way to get a high. True methamphetamine was created in Japan in 1919 as a powder which could be made into a solution for injection.

Methamphetamine was used throughout World War II and subsequent military conflicts to stimulate soldiers during battle. In the 1950s, the drug was turned into tablets and became part of the drug world as a way to control obesity and depression. As the U.S. moved into the late 1990s and beyond, the illicit manufacturing and sale of methamphetamine became big business. Today a wide variety of individuals, from teens to the middle-aged, are turning to methamphetamine to fill a hole in their lives.

The reasons for methamphetamine use are as varied as the types of individuals who abuse it. Some begin using it because the high it gives allows them to accomplish more than would ever be possible without the stimulant effects of meth. Others use it because it gives them a strong feeling of euphoria and bliss. Still others use it as a way to enjoy sexual activity.

Santiago Rodriguez of the Otero County Council on Alcohol Abuse believes this last is the main reason many of those he sees addicted to methamphetamine get hooked.

County will hold meth teleconference Wednesday (Montana)

Angela Brandt
Havre Daily News

Half of Hill County's inmates are incarcerated on charges related in one way or another to methamphetamine, a county official said today.

Hill County Commissioner Doug Kaercher said the percentage is dramatic.

“It may be not as bad as in other areas but if we don't take action it will be,” he said.

Some of those inmates are held on drug charges, while others are imprisoned because of other crimes related to either obtaining or using the drug, he said.

Hill County Commission will hold a public briefing on the Montana Meth Project on Wednesday in Havre.

The meeting and teleconference will be held in the Hill County Justice Court at 11 a.m.

Suspected meth lab uncovered (Wisconsin)

It's the seventh in a year in Sheboygan County

By Troy Laack
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

SHEBOYGAN — Carol Edminster, who owns the Patty Cake Daycare Learning Center, was stunned to see authorities Monday in hazardous materials outfits uncovering a suspected methamphetamine lab next door.

It is the seventh alleged meth lab uncovered in Sheboygan County since the first was found last May 5 in Plymouth. Police investigated the sixth alleged meth lab only a week ago at 1434 Ontario Ave. in Sheboygan.

"I'm really surprised that something like that could be set up in a storage shed," Edminster said. "They obviously don't care about the children."

Fifteen children at the learning center and 12 Alzheimer's and dementia patients at the Countryside Manor in the 4200 block of Kadlec Drive were kept inside and the windows remained closed at both facilities while authorities investigated the B&J Mini-Storage warehouse at 4420 County J.

About 10:45 a.m., investigators began seizing items allegedly used in the production of meth-amphetamine from a small storage unit at the warehouse, just west of Interstate 43 in the Town of Sheboygan, said Capt. Dave Adams of the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department.

A 40-year-old Sheboygan man was arrested and the sheriff's department will ask the district attorney's office to charge him with possessing meth waste and possessing equipment to make meth, Adams said.

Deputies went to the warehouse about 4:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a tip, and found the Sheboygan man and a 41-year-old Minnesota man sitting in a truck just outside the warehouse, a press release said. The Sheboygan man was arrested on a warrant for failing to pay child support, Adams said, and the Minnesota man was released.

While there, deputies noticed items sometimes used to produce meth and a search warrant for the warehouse was issued Monday.

Gloriette Rammer watched the scene from the window of her husband's room at Countryside Manor.

"You always hear about these things in bigger cities but here it is," said Rammer, 75.

Troy Laack writes for the Sheboygan Press.

Local meth labs only one battle front (Missouri)

Cutting demand must be part of the strategy.

This is a frustrating story about methamphetamine and supply and demand.
Last year, Missouri enacted a law that greatly reduced consumer access to cold pills containing pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients in meth. Since that time, the number of meth labs in the state has dropped.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a similar law restricting the sale of similar products on a national level. This will help address one of the problems with the Missouri law, that a meth cook could cross the border and go to a state such as Arkansas that did not have such restrictive laws regarding the cold pills. The federal law is stricter than the state law passed last year and should help even more in preventing meth cooks from getting their hands on the toxic ingredients needed to make the drug.

Decreasing the number of meth labs is good for several reasons. It prevents people from getting involved in a highly dangerous endeavor. Meth labs are highly explosive and often extremely hard to clean up. They also can expose innocent bystanders, including children living in the home, to deadly fumes created during the meth-making process.

Unfortunately, for all the good the law does, demand remains for the high that meth delivers, and a steady supply remains on the street.

Call it the law of unintended consequences.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Viewpoints - Drug abuse affects everyone (Alaska)

By Catlin Rettke

"Now-a-days the new drug of choice for "recreational" use is amphetamines and methamphetamines, far more severe compared to marijuana. If a young man is capable of murder and rape of his step mom while under the influence of marijuana what would a responsible person under the influence of amphetamines or methamphetamines be capable of?"
(Drug abuse affects everyone in some way -George Jackson)

A very good point, Take in mind, however, that since this particular case is indeed very rare, and one may even call it the "exception to the rule". Seeing it as such, there is no doubt in my mind that this young man (Cotting) had problems reaching far beyond his use of marijuana.

Amphetamines are a more serious type of drug to abuse, just as they are a more serious medication to give to 6 and 7 year old hyper-active children. Yet, it seems that not all these children are becoming meth addicts and robbing stores for their money. Proof that controlled drug use is in fact, possible.

I know several people who have used methamphetamine and yes, even heroin. They are neither addicted to a drug, or on a path to self destruction. If they can exercise control, it's possible for others to as well.

Living in a society of cheaters (Washington)


It’s about finding the right chemical to solve your problems.

Humans naturally want to improve themselves, but that hardly excuses the unnatural ways we go about doing it. Most people agree that Barry Bonds’ baseball achievements are less impressive with an asterisk. There is something about it that most of us find morally repugnant.

As with many issues, the soul-searching occurs when you go to draw the line. Is plastic surgery wrong? Is taking creatine supplements akin to steroids, even though it’s naturally produced by your body? What about makeup, contacts or braces?

There is a difference between vanity and need, but even that’s an unclear distinction that people have always pushed to their own advantage. This timeless aspect of human nature is especially observable in the epidemic of illegal prescription drug use.

Memorial grows where teen slain (Colorado)

Print By Bianca Prieto, Rocky Mountain News

LONGMONT - Jesus Vega crossed the street in northern Longmont at sunset Sunday and placed a single red rose at a makeshift memorial for his friend who was murdered there the night before.

Seventeen-year-old Martin Garcia was brutally beaten with baseball bats and stabbed with a large knife by 10 men in their late teens and early 20s about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Longmont police believe the murder was gang-related. Police have not made any arrests but have several leads, they said.

"I feel sorry for my friends," said Vega, 20, who knew Garcia by his nickname "Bouncer." "It's not good to lose somebody very young."

Several bouquets of flowers, cards and a wooden cross were placed on the ground at the memorial, on the southern side of the Rainbow Children's Center, a day care near 21st Avenue and Collyer Street where Garcia was killed.

Someone had written in chalk Descanse en Paz - "Rest in Peace" in Spanish - and "We will miss you Bouncer" on the sidewalk.

"I feel that it is a waste of a life," said Krysteal Nitzel, a 16-year-old sophomore at Skyline High School in Longmont. She didn't know Garcia, but stopped to see the memorial.

"It's happening too much," she said. "I don't know how anyone could take a life."

Residents in the area are concerned about the violence, they said.

One woman, who did not want to be identified because she fears repercussions, said she wants to form a neighborhood watch group so neighbors can get to know each other better.

"It's always been a quiet neighborhood," she said. "To have someone murdered within a few feet of your home is shocking, but not until something happens do you begin to notice."

In the past year the neighborhood has seen an increase in gang taggings and a meth lab in the area was busted, she said.

Another woman, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years, says she doesn't want violence and gangs in her neighborhood.

"I feel like we're in the middle of a gang war," she said, shaking her head. "What's next? A drive-by?"

She, too, asked not to be identified.

Around the corner, cars slowed as they passed and groups of people gathered around the memorial. Some prayed, while others wrote on two pieces of poster board that had been placed there.

Longmont police are searching for the 10 suspects and two vehicles, a green or gray 1990s model Cadillac DeVille and a gray or silver 1990s model Mercury Marquis.

Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call Longmont police at 303-651-8501.,1299,DRMN_15_4626963,00.html

Navajo grandmother charged with drug dealing (Arizona)

by: Staff Reports / Indian Country Today

DILKON, Ariz. - Navajo Nation police officers executed a federal arrest warrant and took a Navajo grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter into custody for dealing methamphetamine in the small, remote Navajo community of Dilkon.

Navajo police arrested Effie Nezzie, 81, reputed to be a Navajo traditional diagnostician known as a hand trembler; her daughter, Marjorie Conley, 63; and her granddaughter, Frederica ''Bubba'' Conley, 39, at their home, according to a written statement from the Navajo president's office.

Also at home at the time of the arrests was the 1-year-old infant daughter of Frederica Conley, whose 5-year-old son was at his Navajo Head Start program.

Patrick Sandoval, chief of staff in the nation's Office of the President and Vice President, said these arrests will reflect badly on the Navajo Nation, but that the Navajo Division of Public Safety is serious about investigating and arresting anyone selling ''this poison to our children.''

''It knocks the wind out of people to realize this is occurring,'' Sandoval said. ''We look to grandmas for advice, teachings - not to come to them for dealing drugs.

''This is a very bad example, and this shows what meth can do.''

Sandoval added: ''As Navajo people, we look up to the elders for leadership, for guidance. They're patriarchs. The mere fact that this is not the first time she's been caught doing this and her disrespect for the law, her involvement in the distribution, and the kids that she's hurting shows she doesn't care about that.

Suspected child abuse should always be reported (Illinois)

By: andrea hahn
the southern
Reporting suspected child abuse is not a matter of choice for members of some professional groups such as health care providers and educators.

They are mandated reporters, meaning they are required by law to report to a law enforcement or child welfare agency any incidents of child abuse they encounter.

But for those not mandated to report, knowing how to interpret the telltale signs of child abuse is difficult enough. Fear - of reprisal, of being wrong in one's assumptions, of getting a family member in trouble - may keep otherwise right-hearted people from helping children in situations that are hurtful to them.

Bill Peyton, regional administrator for the Department of Children and Family Services in the southern region, said he knows people have legitimate concerns about reporting what they believe to be child abuse. However, he said, built-in safeguards help protect a caller's identity, and also a family's integrity if the report is unfounded.

"When you call the hotline, there is an initial screening process," he said, noting the incident has to meet certain criteria to be investigated as a case of child abuse. Some problems are better handled as a welfare issue, he said, and some may be considered criminal. For example, child abuse happens when the perpetrator has responsibility for the child. If a neighbor hits a child, that's a criminal assault matter - not a child abuse issue.

"Erring on the side of caution is a good thing," he said, encouraging people to call whenever they believe they have witnessed genuine abuse.

Those who fear reprisal can report an incident anonymously, he said.

"It's better for the investigator if we can talk to the person who calls," he said. "But, obviously, an anonymous report is better than no report."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Guilty Plea From Teacher Arrested In Meth Bust (Maryland)

(AP) BALTIMORE, Md. A federal judge in Baltimore has accepted a guilty plea from a former Howard County teacher arrested last September in a methamphetamine sting.

Thirty-five-year-old Timothy Hartlove was accused of accepting a pound of meth, worth about 50-thousand dollars, from a middleman working for federal agents. Hartlove pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of the drug.

Hartlove's lawyer says his client is an addict and didn't make any money from the drug deal.

Hartlove was fired as a social studies teacher at River Hill High School in Clarksville.

Meth takes a toll on Indian reservation housing South Dakota)

Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Leah Fyten believes that every family on her South Dakota reservation has been affected by methamphetamine use.

The drug has torn apart these families, led to increases in crime and bumped mortality rates. And now, the director of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Housing Authority says, it's affecting the reservation's already desperate housing situation.

Housing is not only ruined by meth labs, which are highly poisonous and often difficult to spot, but also by the destructive habits that often accompany drug use. The housing authority on the Flandreau reservation has spent countless dollars fixing up holes in the walls, broken windows, ruined appliances and other damage wrought by bad hygiene and the violent habits of drug users, Fyten said.

"We have a small budget that decreases every year and families are growing," she said. "Housing gets worse every year. And to try to repair houses that are damaged by alcohol and drug abuse puts a strain on your budget."

Meth discussion May 2 at high school (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Meth discussion May 2 at high school


Learn about the nature and extent of the emerging methamphetamine problem and possible solutions during a free presentation from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 2 at the Forest Lake Area High School, 6100 N. Scandia Trail.

Carol Falkowski, director of Research Communications at Hazelden Foundation, will lead the presentation, which includes a question-and-answer period featuring local Washington County chemical health professionals. Participants will watch parts of two PBS documentaries that include personal stories of teenagers recovering from meth addiction. Registration is not required. For more information, call 651-982-8345.

Man Sentenced To Prison For Meth Death (Minnesota)

(AP) Shakopee, Minn. A Scott County man has been sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison for helping kill a woman who overdosed on methamphetamine while in his hot tub.

The sentence that District Judge Mary Theisen gave 53-year-old Gary Schwich of Spring Lake Township is five years and four months longer than called for under sentencing guidelines.

A jury found that 43-year-old Alica Hackbarth was particularly vulnerable because of the drugs she had taken before she died on March 11 of last year.

Schwich was convicted of aiding unintentional third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and fifth-degree meth possession.

Meth labs pose danger to youngsters (North Carolina)

Amy Lotven /Herald Staff Writer

WELDON - The dangers of methamphetamines and the makeshift labs used to create the illegal drugs were the subject of an informational forum Tuesday at Halifax Community College.

The event, led by Kevin Kupietz, Fire/EMS coordinator for Halifax Community College, and Lt. Jay Burch of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office, was sponsored by the Halifax County Department of Social Services in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Meth can be produced fairly easily with many products that are readily available at local stores, using instructions that can be easily obtained on the Internet.

Because of the toxic chemicals used to manufacture of the substance, meth labs are highly dangerous and extremely unstable. Dangers include possible explosions, exposure to toxic waste produced when manufacturing the synthetic drug, and much more.

And where there are meth labs, there are often children. Michelle Braswell with DSS also noted that meth users become more sexually aggressive, and that alone is dangerous to any child who might be alone with a user.

Kupietz said in another area of the state, there was a woman who had been high on the drug for days, then fell hard asleep, locking her pit bull in a laundry room and leaving a child to his own devices. The dog eventually ate through the door and attacked the child.

In North Carolina, the most recent statistics show that in the year 2000, 12 children were injured due to meth labs. That number grew to 44 in 2003.

Kelly Page, a chemist who works with the State Bureau of Investigation on meth-related incidents, was scheduled to lead the forum, but was unable to attend due to work.

Meth is a powdery substance that can have various different looks, usually depending on the type of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine used in its production. The drug also has several slang names, such as crank, ice, redneck cocaine and glass.

One tip shared with the audience of about 25 or so community members was that if a person enters a home and discovers a lab, the first thing to do is walk straight back out and immediately contact authorities.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Police: Mom Had Meth Lab In Home (Ohio)

Police in Brown County say a mother of three was operating a methamphetamine lab at her home.

Sheriff's deputies searched Sandra Harris' home on Eastwood Road in Mt. Orab Tuesday night and reported finding a fully functional lab.

Deputies also say her children were there while the drug was being made on several occasions.

Tim Freeman is also facing charges in the case.

Parents get lessons about meth, other drugs (Alaska)

A postponed meeting on drug and alcohol use among high school students took on more importance last week after the recent death of a young Homer woman from a drug overdose. Even before Bethany Woodworth, 19, died last month, the Homer High School Parent Teacher Association had planned a presentation to discuss the issue. The PTA postponed the presentation when the featured speaker, Homer Police Sgt. Lary Kuhns, had to cancel because of illness
Last Thursday, Kuhns made it, and fellow police, mental health clinicians and school officials showed up in force to back up his message: Methamphetamine as a drug problem has arrived on the lower Kenai Peninsula.

Kuhns said meth is widespread in Alaska.

“It’s been a problem all over, but seems to have increased the last few years,” he said.

“It’s not a matter of when, because it’s already here,” added Paul Morton, a licensed professional counselor and former California police officer.

Morton and Kuhns, along with Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Tom Dunn, police Sgt. Will Hutt, high school principal Ron Keffer and Jim Henkelman, a licensed clinical social worker with Community Mental Health Center, spoke to about 70 people — mostly parents. PTA President Rachael Roe said she wanted the meeting to be positive and proactive, with the focus of getting information out to parents on Homer’s drug and alcohol problem.

Deputies arrest couple, remove four children (Arizona)

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. Two people are arrested and four children are handed over to Child Protective Services after authorities executed a search warrant and found methamphetamine inside an El Mirage residence.

The sheriff's office searched the home in the 14-thousand block of North 130th Lane and arrested 21-year-old Brianna Green.

Investigators think Green had been smoking meth while watching the children only minutes before deputies entered the West Valley home.

Once inside, detectives say they found an eighth of an ounce of meth, two weapons and 36 boxes of Sudafed, a chemical used in making methamphetamine.

The children's father, 41-year-old Harold Allen, was not home during the execution of the warrant but was tracked down and taken into custody.

Retrial begins in SoCal baby's meth poisoning death (California)

CORONA – The retrial of a woman accused of killing her infant son with methamphetamine-laced breast milk began with a prosecutor telling jurors she knew her drug use could be lethal and the defense suggesting the woman's roommate may have been responsible for the death.
Amy Leanne Prien, 34, is accused of murdering 3-month-old Jacob Wesley Smith in January 2002. She was convicted of second-degree murder in 2003, but an appeals court overturned the conviction last September, citing flawed jury instructions from the trial judge.

The prosecution was believed to be the first of its kind in California.

In her opening statements Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Allison Nelson told jurors that Prien would often breast feed Jacob after smoking methamphetamine in her bedroom.

“There's no doubt the defendant is a meth addict and that she transmitted meth to her child through the method of breast milk,” Nelson said.

Prien's attorney, Stephen Yagman, told jurors there's no evidence tainted breast milk killed Jacob.

“This baby was weaned a long time before this occurred,” Yagman said. “The only one thing that matters is causation of death, and there's no evidence that breast milk caused that baby to die.”

He also suggested that Prien's then-roommate, Donald Fox, was dealing drugs from their home and sometimes packaged meth in baby bottle liners.

Fox was the first prosecution witness to testify Wednesday, saying he scolded Prien a couple of days before Jacob died for breast-feeding him while she was high on meth. Yagman in his cross examination, however, noted that Fox had testified during Prien's first trial that the incident occurred a month before Jacob's death.

Tool of last resort (Canada)

The Doer government tabled legislation this week that will allow parents to force their drug-addicted children into detoxification centres. It's a tool of last resort for parents who have nowhere else to turn if their children are addicted to a drug that has taken over their lives.

We support the initiative because, in some cases, it can help drug-addicted youths turn their lives around.

The new law will allow parents to put their children in a stabilization facility for seven days.

It's not addiction treatment. Rather, it's a way of getting the youth off drugs long enough to get them to think straight so they may consider voluntary treatment.

Too often parents who try to get their kids into treatment can't because their child's judgment is clouded by chronic drug use.

Giving parents the power to put their children into a detoxification centre at least gives them a chance of breaking the cycle long enough to consider long-term help.

We often demand that people taking responsibility for themselves and their children. This is one way of helping parents do just that.

The seriousness of drug addiction among youth has grown in recent years with the addition of crack cocaine and crystal meth -- both highly addictive substances -- as drugs of choice among teens.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Marks on toddler found in meth lab turn out to be bug bites (Tennessee)

An 18 month old Knoxville boy is in the care of his grandparents after being rushed to Children's Hospital with what appeared to be chemical burns on his back. It turns out the marks were just bug bites.

Police say they were concerned about the marks on the toddler's back because they found the child in a raid on a meth lab in a South Knox home Monday night.

The boy's mother, 34 year old Krystal Lynn Hodgson is charged with manufacturing meth and aggravated child abuse.

Her boyfriend, 31 year old Kevin Wayne Price faces the same drug charge.

Tom Spangler, Chief Deputy with the Knox County Sheriff Department says, "These people here obviously thought they were getting away with something until last night."

Investigators say a local store helped tip them off that the couple was buying large quantities of the elements needed to make the drug.

They found the chemicals and utensils in three parts of the home. They also found the 18 month old baby.

Hernshaw woman faces meth charge (West Virginia)

Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies arrested a woman Tuesday for running a meth lab in the house she shared with her three children.

Deputies responding to an anonymous tip searched the Hernshaw home of Sandy Burgess, 42, and found items allegedly used in making meth, including plastic tubing, a propane canister and lye, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court by Deputy B.R. Martin.

Burgess apparently ran from the house during the search, the complaint said. She was later arrested for allegedly operating a meth lab and doing so around her children Macey, Lacy and Allen Burgess, according to the complaint.

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She was being held at South Central Regional on a $10,000 property or $1,000 cash bond as of Tuesday night, a magistrate court employee said.

Court to serve addicted parents (Minnesota)

New approach seeks to preserve custody
Pioneer Press
Children's advocates in Dakota County are praising efforts to launch a new court for parents whose drug addictions have put them in danger of losing their custody rights.

Aimed at users of methamphetamines and other drugs, the court will focus on enrolling troubled moms and dads into treatment programs as a step toward reuniting them with their children.

"I'm very excited about it," said Judy Peterson, manager of the county's guardian ad litem program, which provides courtroom advocates for children. "Generally, the kids are best served by being with their own families."

County officials believe the Family Dependency Treatment Court would be the first of its kind in the five-state area. It may be ready as soon as July, and participation would be voluntary, officials said.

Drug offenders would meet every two weeks with a judge, public defender, prosecutor, social worker and children's advocate to review their cases and determine if they have kept up with appropriate chemical dependency services.

Once they are on a stable treatment schedule, hearings would become monthly.

That system is expected to provide more rewards and supervision for parents than traditional child-protection cases, where hearings are held every 90 days. It also allows the courts to impose intermediate sanctions, such as electronic home monitoring, when an offender begins to slip up.

"Obviously, there's an incentive to get their kids back, but it's going to be a pretty rigorous program," said Judge Ed Lynch, who will preside over the cases. "It will be interesting to see how many (parents) are willing to make that commitment."

Traditional child-protection cases pose a challenge for methamphetamine abusers, who may need extra help getting organized, enrolling in treatment services and finding appropriate transportation and health insurance, according to county officials. That's because meth is considered a tougher addiction to buck than many others.

Meth also may have a more devastating effect on home life. In the last few months of 2004, Dakota County social service workers noticed an uptick in the number of kids taken from their parents and placed in foster care. Many of those kids were not yet 5 years old.

Crystal meth worries lead to stricter controls on access to cold remedies (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Cold remedies are being moved off store shelves across Nova Scotia, to reduce their use in the creation of crystal methamphetamine.

Medications containing pure pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, such as Sudafed Decongestant, will be kept behind the counter at pharmacies.

Other medicines that contain traces of the two drugs are being taken out of corner stores and gas stations.

Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are key ingredients in the production of crystal meth, a highly addictive drug.

The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities has recommended reclassifying the medications, a decision which led to the stricter controls.

Halifax police and provincial RCMP say crystal meth production is not the large problem in Nova Scotia that it is out west. But they said the precaution is a good idea.

However, the province’s New Democrats say the removal of the cold remedies is just a first step in combatting the problem.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

RCMP on the lookout for crack from the Philippines (Canada and Philippines)

Thu, April 06 2006
By Mata Press Service

To meth smokers in the Philippines, it is known as "shabu" and "bato" (rock).

Sold on the streets for as little C$2 per gram crystal methamphetamine has become the substance of choice by Filipino drug abusers. With domestic production exceeding demand, the crack trade has gone international.

According to a 2006 report by the US State Department, the Philippines has evolved into both a source and transshipment point of crack to Canada, the United States, Guam and Saipan, Australia and South Korea.

The US noted that domestic production of meth exceeds demand, with most of the precursor chemicals smuggled into or illegally diverted after importation into the Philippines from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including Hong Kong.

Producers make methamphetamine in clandestine labs through a hydrogenation process that uses palladium and hydrogen gas to refine the liquid mixture into crystal form.

"PRC- and Taiwan-based syndicates have established the vast majority of the Philippines’ clandestine methamphetamine labs using a network of ethnic Chinese who possess the necessary technical skills," according to the US State Department.

Illegal drugs enter the Philippines through seaports, economic zones, and airports. With over 36,200 kilometers of coastline and 7,000 islands, the Philippine archipelago is a drug smuggler’s paradise.

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Ice 'super lab' busted (Australia)

By Amanda Hodge
April 08, 2006
A SUPER laboratory for "ice", able to produce up to 500kg of the dangerous drug a week, has been discovered in northern NSW in the nation's biggest methamphetamine lab bust.
AFP and Clandestine Drug Lab officers raided an isolated property near Murwillumbah late on Thursday, uncovering a series of buildings and a secret underground room containing laboratory equipment and precursor drugs such as pseudoephedrine and hydrogen chloride.

AFP's national border and international network manager Mike Phelan said police had traced the drug lab from information received through their overseas network, which alerted them to the sale and importation of a large volume of the precursor drugs used to make ice.

Seven men in Brisbane and NSW have been arrested in relation to the drug syndicate, believed to have links to southeast Asian drug cartels, and charged with conspiracy to produce commercial quantities of amphetamine and the use of precursor drugs.

The arrests were made under new national laws introduced last December that elevated the illegal importation of large amounts of precursors, such as pseudoephedrine, to the same crime category as importing the amphetamines themselves.

Mr Phelan said police had not yet determined the lab's production capacity and officers were still going through the property.

But he likened the enterprise to the "superlabs of southeast Asia", including a billion-dollar Fijian ice factory that was dismantled in 2004.

Those laboratories have the capacity to produce as much as 500kg of the drug, also known as crystal meth, shabu and crank, each week.

"This is one of the largest and most sophisticated clandestine drug laboratories discovered in Australia, capable of making extremely large quantities of ice," Mr Phelan said.

"We believe we have completely dismantled a major syndicate operating in Australia."

The growing market for ice in Australia has traditionally relied on imports from labs in China, Malaysia and The Philippines.

Previously uncovered Australian labs have used more basic recipes to produce a less refined ice -- a brown sludge that is administered by heating and inhaling the vapours.

But the Murwillumbah lab is the first Australian operation known to be using the technical and highly volatile low-pressure hydrogen method employed in the Asian labs to create pure crystals of methamphetamine.

Mr Phelan said such labs were still "extremely rare" in Australia, but the latest raid suggested there were more out there.

The drug is notorious for inducing violent psychotic episodes in long-term users.,20867,18745852-2702,00.html

Violent crimes increasing in Kent (Washington)

by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter

Violent crime in Kent rose substantially in 2005, according a new statewide crime report.

At the same time, the preliminary report released this week by the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs says violent crimes, including murder, rape and robbery are up across the state by 2.7 percent. Property crimes, such as auto theft, burglary and arson, rose 2.5 percent.

Bellevue police and the King County Sheriff's Office reported slight decreases in both violent crime and property crime.

Kent police say the marked increase there is at least partly due to a change in the way crime statistics are calculated, but they agree violent crime is increasing.

``I don't think anybody would deny that the numbers are going up,'' said Capt. Jim Miller, who heads the Kent police patrol section.

According to the report by the sheriffs and police chiefs association, Kent police responded to 479 reports of violent crime in 2005 compared to 302 reports in 2004 -- an increase of nearly 59 percent. And there were 6,195 reports of property crime last year compared to 4,888 reported in 2004.

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Father sentenced to life in murder of his son (Tennessee)

This story has gotten alot of blog attention, so I wanted to give you the latest update. Pictures of both parents can been seen at the URL listed below. This is such a tragedy and tears at my heart . The children are the ones that suffer at the choices of their parents. Kim


A Knox County jury today convicted a father of killing his 3-month-old son and sentenced him to life in prison.
Blake Delaney Tallant, 33, will have to serve at least 51 years behind bars before he's eligible for parole.

Jurors in Criminal Court deliberated 7.5 hours over two days before finding Tallant guilty of felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and neglect in the August 2002 death of Lex Arson Tallant. They took only 24 minutes to agree on the sentence.

Tallant wept as the jury announced its verdict.

Tallant has been on trial this week in what authorities have said is the most horrific case of child abuse ever investigated in Knoxville.

In the two weeks before his death, Lex sustained 23 broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken leg — all of which went untreated. At the time of his death, his tiny body was a mass of bruises, cuts, tears, burns and scrapes.

Although Lex's father is the one on trial, it was the baby's mother, Sarah Tallant — her role, her testimony, her value as a witness, her character, her psyche and, most of all, her plea deal — who took center stage Thursday as the prosecution and defense team squared off in closing arguments.

Tallant, 30, testified earlier this week against her husband as part of a plea deal brokered between attorney Tom Slaughter and Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols.

Under terms of the plea deal, she would receive a 20-year prison term but would be required to serve only one-third of it before she is eligible for parole. She would get credit for the more than three years she already has served since her arrest.

As part of the agreement, she gave a statement to Nichols in which she failed to accuse her husband of murder but pointed to instances of rough treatment by him that could account for some of the baby's injuries.

On the witness stand, she insisted her husband never intentionally hurt her son and claimed she never saw most of the injuries documented on the boy's body. She conceded both she and her husband were methamphetamine users.

She also disavowed both statements she made to police implicating her husband and parts of her statement to Nichols. It's not clear if her plea deal is in jeopardy as a result.

But Knox County Public Defender Mark Stephens made it a key point in his closing arguments Thursday. Prosecutors Steve Garrett and Marsha Mitchell found themselves defending the agreement on one hand and distancing their case from her on the other.

"Although (plea bargaining) is sometimes necessary, it is not always pretty," Garrett told jurors. "It's not your job to decide what's fair between Sarah Tallant and Blake Tallant. It makes no difference what happens to Sarah Tallant.

"Did we make a mistake making a deal with Ms. Tallant?" Garrett asked. "I don't know. But that deal has nothing to do with whether Blake Tallant is guilty."

Garrett pointed to a tape recording of Sarah Tallant's call for help on the night of her son's death in which she tearfully tells authorities her son isn't breathing.

"Sarah was showing emotion," Garrett said. "(Her husband) almost seems put out that he's having to deal with this. He knows what he's done to that baby. He knows if the police find out he's going to be arrested. I submit that Sarah finally showed some love for this child in the two weeks this child was in such agony."

Stephens was quick to respond.

"The state tells you, ‘Don't worry about Sarah Tallant. Don't worry about the consequences of the plea deal,' " he told jurors. "There's not much she said that's worth believing. She's written letter after letter (to her husband, saying, ‘I love you. We're innocent.' All the while, her attorney is meeting with (Nichols) getting a deal."

Stephens also argued that evidence showed Blake Tallant was on a methamphetamine-cooking trip for most of the final days of Lex's life.

"He's gone most of that time," Stephens said. "She's the exclusive caretaker, and she's taking meth every single day, twice a day."

Mitchell fired back with a closing argument that featured a defense of the plea deal, a layman's look at the "delusional" psyche of Sarah Tallant and haunting photographs of Lex's injuries.

"This baby had all this abuse," she said. "He would have been screaming out in pain. ? Parents should love their children. What did the world look like to this baby? We're just asking for justice for him."

Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.,1406,KNS_347_4604067,00.html