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.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

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.


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