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.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Australia talks about Cutting Edge: The Meth Epidemic, a PBS video

Cutting Edge: The Meth Epidemic

Gripping documentary on the explosion of methamphetamine abuse in the US.

Speed, crack, crystal. No matter its name, methamphetamine exerts a destructive chemical power on the brains of users by creating a feeling of euphoria. Eventually, addicts can't feel pleasure from anything except more meth.

This is a gripping documentary, not just for the content but for how it came about as a collaboration between the investigative arm of an American newspaper and a television program.

Made by Frontline, part of the PBS network, and The Oregonian newspaper, which was nominated for a Pulitzer award for its original reporting, it tracks how methamphetamine abuse has exploded in America and the social consequences that have been wrought on communities. The key constituents of the drug, which has acquired currency over here on the dance party circuit, can be sourced from a handful of factories in the world.

But the documentary contends that early attempts to stem the flow of essential ingredients ephedrine and pseudoephedrine - contained in over-the-counter cough and cold remedies - failed, owing to legislative hold-ups and the power of the pharmaceutical lobby.

The "epidemic" began in Oregon and California but has moved inexorably to the mid-west and the east coast of the US. As the purity of the drug has waxed and waned on the street following law enforcement measures, the report suggests that so to has the rate of crimes, deaths and injuries.

The toll taken on users is simply illustrated in a sequence of mug shots taken over several years. There is also a toll to be paid by the wave of abused and neglected children, the "meth-orphans". Striking stuff.

Jury Deadlocked in Breast Milk Meth Poisoning Trial (California)

CORONA, Calif. — A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after jurors deadlocked in the case of a woman accused of killing her baby by nursing with methamphetamine-laced breast milk.

The jury stalemated 6-6 in the murder case against Amy Leanne Prien, said Ingrid Wyatt, spokeswoman for the Riverside County district attorney's office.

Prien, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence for felony child endangerment, would have faced 15 years to life if she had been convicted. The jury got the case June 15 after a 2 1/2-month trial.

The district attorney's office has until July 11 to decide on retrying the case, which began when Prien was arrested in January 2002 and was charged with murdering 3-month-old Jacob Wesley Smith.

Prien was convicted of second-degree murder in 2003, but an appeals court overturned the conviction in September, citing flawed jury instructions from the trial judge.

The prosecution was believed to be the first of its kind in California.,2933,200635,00.html

Children living in meth homes often develop mental disabilities (New Mexico)

Police need help to combat meth


Second of two parts

Although Rio Rancho police have not busted a meth lab in the last two years, the effects of past methamphetamine endeavors still linger today, from the toxic chemicals that are still present in houses previously used for cooking meth to the many addicts who are still dependant on the substance.

The Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety hosted a meth-awareness class June 16, not only to educate the public about the dangerous drug, but also to solicit the public's aid in combating its use.

Why meth is dangerous

Besides the mental damage that methamphetamine causes, it is also quite destructive to the body.

Abuse of methamphetamine decimates the body's immune system, leaving users more susceptible to illness and unable to heal from even minor ailments. Frequently, Francis said, meth addicts develop infections because their bodies cannot heal properly.

Getting off methamphetamine is difficult, as withdraw can cause severe depression. After years of use, Francis said, meth users who aren't under the influence of the substance are frequently slow, difficult to reason with, and lack common sense.

Meth is also dangerous to those who live around the labs, and its after-effects are as long lasting.

Explosions, because the cooking process requires many volatile chemicals, are an immanent threat. For a large lab, one that fills a room, police may have to evacuate an entire neighborhood. Francis said that no meth-related explosions have occurred in Rio Rancho.

"We've had to evacuate neighborhoods before because of the labs, because of the process that's going on," Francis said.

Cleaning up the mess

With larger labs, the Drug Enforcement Agency assists local departments, both in manpower and in cost, Francis said. A lab cleanup can cost $10,000, which the DEA covers.

Because of the chemicals in the air due to the cooking process, meth is a danger to those inside the house. Police and firefighters wear equipment to eliminate their exposure to such chemicals, Francis said, but children and future residents are often not so lucky.

Children living in meth houses, because of their exposure to the fumes, often develop mental disabilities that can be permanent.

"So often, children become involved as innocent victims of methamphetamine manufacturing," Francis said. "These small, helpless children are completely dependent upon their parents and are commonly exposed to potentially explosive operating laboratories with chemicals and deadly gases."

Any children found in a meth lab or a former meth lab are immediately taken to the Children Youth and Families Division and then taken to a hospital for testing, Francis said.

Even after a meth lab is busted, the fumes from methamphetamine labs linger for many years, even though the cooking process takes as little as five hours. The owners are required by law to replace the carpet and drywall to remove any lingering chemicals, but often that does not happen.

During DPS' recent operation with the Department of Probation and Parole, officers checked in on a house on 35th Street that four years ago was used as a meth lab. What they found, Francis said, was a new family, including children, living in the home permeated by the odor of the meth lab.

"We could still detect the odor of meth in the house," Francis said, adding that a "house can become contaminated by the first cook."

Now, meth houses are flagged at the county assessor's office, after which a notice is required on the deed to alert potential homebuyers.

How police are combating meth

A new state law goes into effect July 1 that will require retailers to keep ephedrine-containing medicine out of the reach of shoppers. Customers will need a prescription for the medications or be required to present identification. The state is also limiting the amount of various medicines that customers can purchase without a prescription.

Some retailers, like Walgreens, are already limiting customers' access to ephedrine, Francis said.

But police are also asking for the public's help in combating meth. While officers do patrol the city, they need residents to call with their concerns. Francis said even if meth suspicions prove false, police are willing to "knock and talk," stopping by to see if there is any evidence of a meth lab visible from outside the structure and talking to the residents if possible.

What to do if a lab is nearby

Meth users are often violent because of the drug, and Francis urged that residents call police rather than get personally involved.

"If you come across meth users in the street, it is common that they are very violent," he said.

Likewise, citizens should not enter a meth house because of the dangers of explosion or chemical exposure. Entering the building, Francis said, is best left to the police and firefighters in the proper equipment.

Francis offered two numbers residents can call: the DPS non-emergency number (891-7226) and the Crime Stoppers number (843-STOP). Callers can remain anonymous when calling either number, Francis said.

Although there is not a second methamphetamine class scheduled, Francis said they are merely waiting to set a date. In the meantime, DPS is hosting the Citizen's Public Safety Academy, a 12-week course beginning July 25. That course will cover the gambit of jobs and responsibilities with DPS, including firefighters, paramedics, and dispatch workers.

Granberg Hosts Meth Awareness Seminar Monday, June 26 (Illinois)

State Representative Kurt Granberg is hosting a methamphetamine awareness seminar Monday evening in Mt. Vernon.
Granberg says one of the goals is to teach residents how they can protect themselves against the drug and those who make it. He says the seminar will explain how to spot meth users and see if they are cooking it.

Guest speakers at the seminar will include local and regional law enforcement officers, treatment experts, and members of the judicial community.

The seminar will be held at the Roland Lewis Center at 800 South 27th Street in Mt. Vernon. Informational booths from anti-meth organizations will be on display beginning at five, and the seminar presentations will begin at six.

Meth by far most-abused drug in Nevada


RENO, Nev. (AP) - More than a third of addicts treated in state-funded programs last year were hooked on methamphetamine, making it by far the most-abused drug in Nevada, a newspaper reported Sunday.

An investigation by the Reno Gazette-Journal found that meth use is clogging courts, jails and treatment centers, destroying families and fueling a boom in petty crime.

In 2002, more meth users than alcoholics were admitted to state-funded programs for the first time in Nevada, according to the newspaper.

Thirty-five percent of those treated in 2005 were meth addicts, up from 29 percent in 2004 - the biggest one-year increase since 1995. Meth users accounted for 17 percent in 1996.

The percentage of adolescent meth addicts in the state doubled from 1996 to 2005.

"Meth is a huge problem in Nevada and the nation," Attorney General George Chanos said. "I don't believe Washington yet realizes the scope of the problem. The significance of the problem can't be overstated."

The percentage of Nevada high school students who have tried meth has been the highest in the country in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance.

In 2003 - the last year for which complete statistics are available - Nevada ranked first in the U.S. with 12.5 percent of high school students using meth at least once.

Nevada ranked 11th among male students at 8.9 percent but first among female students at 16.2 percent, the report found.

The percentage for girls was more than 30 percent higher than the next closest state - Wyoming, at 12.3 percent.

The prevalence of meth addiction among pregnant females in the state also is growing. Nearly 66 percent of pregnant females seeking treatment in state-funded programs listed meth as their drug of choice.

Since 2001, the percentage of pregnant female drug users who are abusing meth has grown more than 40 percent.

"Absolutely, it's pandemic," said Nevada Highway Patrol Capt. Scott Jackson, who used to lead the Tri-Net narcotics task force in Carson City. "It is pandemic because I think you'll see the trends sweeping the nation and reaching the eastern seaboard. I'm not sure how much worse it can get."

Earlier this month, an advocacy group released a study that concluded meth use is rare in most of the United States, not the raging epidemic described by politicians and the news media.

Meth is a dangerous drug but among the least commonly used, The Sentencing Project policy analyst Ryan King wrote in the report. Rates of use have been stable since 1999, and among teenagers meth use has dropped, King said.

The Gazette-Journal reviewed its findings with King, who agreed that its factual content reveals what could be a legitimate problem.

The Sentencing Project is a not-for-profit group that supports alternatives to prison terms for convicted drug users and other criminals.

"Ultimately, these scare tactics result in punitive sentencing laws," King said. "Policymakers think, `Let's just build prison beds and keep these people off the street.'

"But the right policy response is to give them treatment. The policy to build more beds has never worked before."

The Gazette-Journal's report also included stories about teenage meth users and their parents, former addicts, counselors and law enforcement authorities.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal,

Locking Up Parents, Damaging Children (New Book)

All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated

Author:Nell Bernstein

Publisher:The New Press




Many of the incarcerated men and women in this country are parents. Their children pay a high price – and with almost two-and-a-half million children experiencing the loss of a parent to the criminal justice system, it’s a price that is also paid by schools, neighborhoods, and extended families. Journalist Nell Bernstein’s book, All Alone in the World, takes a close and compassionate look at families affected by incarceration. CFK Editor Susan Phillips has this review.

The unprecedented expansion of the prison population in the U.S. over the last 30 years, driven largely by changes in the way the law treats drug users and drug sellers, has had profound effects on millions of people who have never committed a crime: the children of prisoners, of course – but also their siblings and other family members, friends and neighbors.

Nell Bernstein’s book, All Alone in the World, offers us valuable insight into the destructive effect this wholesale incarceration of parents is having on children, extended families, and entire communities.

Bernstein effectively uses the personal stories of prisoners, their children, and their families to make real what research tells us about the toxic effects of parental incarceration on children: high rates of anxiety and attention disorders and post traumatic stress; unstable living arrangements with a variety of overstressed caregivers; struggles with school performance and school behavior; increased poverty.

With 2.4 million children currently experiencing the incarceration of a parent, and more than 7 million with a parent under criminal justice supervision, the problems of this group are problems our entire society needs to address. One of the bleakest statistics in the book is that as many as fifty percent of boys who experience a parent’s incarceration will wind up behind bars themselves.

And because of mandatory sentencing laws, the loss of a parent can extend for years, decades, even lifetimes. In her chapter on the effect of these sentencing policies, Bernstein describes the case of a woman arrested on drug charges. A first offender, but prosecuted under a law designed to nab drug “kingpins”, Danielle was given a sentence of three consecutive life terms. “I didn’t even think it was real at the time,” her son Carl told Bernstein. “I thought she was kidding. I remember saying, ‘You can’t do triple life. You only have one.’”

Bernstein argues that mandatory sentencing laws have had a disproportionate effect on women, who are now the fastest-growing segment of the prison population. Her recounting of Danielle’s efforts to parent her son from behind bars is painful to read; Carl’s hope of winning her release by becoming a famous rap star who can afford the best lawyers is heartbreaking.

All Alone in the World also highlights the stunning inattention of our major public institutions to the needs of these children. Police making a drug bust aren’t usually expected to ask or care if they are snapping the cuffs on the primary caregiver of one or more young children. Child welfare agencies are not routinely informed when parents are taken to jail. Legitimate privacy concerns stand in the way of routinely informing schools and teachers of a parent’s arrest and incarceration – yet this could be valuable information if schools want to respond appropriately and with sensitivity to the acting out that often follows.

As Bernstein notes in her introduction, no one is claiming that the parents in question are great, good, or even adequate parents. But losing them still hurts their children. “But in one way are another, most say the same thing: things were hard. Mom got arrested. Things got worse.”

Bernstein’s first chapter, Arrest, starts off with 10-year-old Anthony remembering when his meth-abusing mother and her boyfriend, who also cooked and sold meth in a shed, were arrested. Police broke down the door, smashed through the floorboards of the house, broke a lot of things. He was put in the back of a police car and taken to a shelter. “It’s kiddie jail,” Anthony recalls. “They keep you in cells—little rooms that you sleep in, and you have nothing except for a bed, blankets and sheets. You couldn’t even go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.”

Anthony’s grandmother tried to get him out of the shelter, but he wasn’t released to her care for two and a half weeks, because she lived in a different county and child welfare authorities insisted she find housing in the county first.

See more on this book at:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Resources to help you

The Official Patient's SourceBook on Methamphetamine Dependence
Product Details:

ISBN: 0597832587

Format: Paperback, 192pp

Pub. Date: July 2002

Publisher: ICON Health Publications

Edition Number: 1

This sourcebook has been created for patients who have decided to make education and Internet-based research an integral part of the treatment process. Although it gives information useful to doctors, caregivers and other health professionals, it also tells patients where and how to look for information covering virtually all topics related to methamphetamine dependence, from the essentials to the most advanced areas of research. The title of this book includes the word official. This reflects the fact that the sourcebook draws from public, academic, government, and peer-reviewed research. Selected readings from various agencies are reproduced to give you some of the latest official information available to date on methamphetamine dependence. Following an introductory chapter, the sourcebook is organized into three parts. PART I: THE ESSENTIALS; Chapter 1.The Essentials on Methamphetamine Dependence: Guidelines; Chapter 2. Seeking Guidance; Chapter 3. Clinical Trials and Methamphetamine Dependence; PART II: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND ADVANCED MATERIAL; Chapter 4. Studies on Methamphetamine Dependence; Chapter 5. Books on Methamphetamine Dependence; Chapter 6. Multimedia on Methamphetamine Dependence; Chapter 7. Physician Guidelines and Databases; PART III. APPENDICES; Appendix A. Researching Your Medications; Appendix B. Researching Alternative Medicine; Appendix C.Researching Nutrition; Appendix D. Finding Medical Libraries; Appendix E. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment; ONLINE GLOSSARIES; METHAMPHETAMINE DEPENDENCEGLOSSARY; INDEX. Related topics include: methamphetamine, methamphetamine abuse, methamphetamine addiction, methamphetamine intoxication.
A comprehensive manual for anyone interested in self-directed research on methamphetamine dependence. Fully referenced with ample Internet listings and glossary.

Meth Equals Sorcery Know The Truth
Product Details:

ISBN: 0967960304

Format: Paperback, 155pp

Pub. Date: January 2001

Publisher: Above All Ministry

Cat, A reviewer, March 15, 2005,
A friend of mine told me about this book and I ordered it the next day. This book is a great resource for anyone that it battling meth addiction, or is thinking of doing meth or knows someone on meth. I have used meth and my husband is currently addicted and we don’t speak. Even though I've tried meth I still can't completely related to his behavior. This book is the only book that really explains how meth tricks you mind and the physical and emotionally as well as the effects it has on family and friends. This is a must read. Steve Box has successfully brought an understanding of the power meth has if you have never done meth then you don’t understand. If you are trying to help someone addicted to meth or if you are thinking of trying meth then you should definitely read this.

Meth : America's Home-Cooked Menace (Paperback)
by Dirk Johnson

Product Details
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: HAZELDEN (September 15, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN: 1592853056
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
A harrowing look at the personal, social, and environmental impact of America’s newest drug abuse trend.
Methamphetamine has been around for decades, but the recent surge in clandestine “cooking” labs in homes, hotel rooms, and even cars has made this toxic stimulant exceptionally affordable, accessible, and dangerous. With staggering facts and up-to-the-minute information, award-winning journalist Dirk Johnson has written the definitive book about America’s methamphetamine pandemic. Johnson examines the unprecedented physical, mental, social, and environmental destruction caused by meth use and meth production. He explains why this drug is so harmful, how it differs from other drugs, and how it has devastated individuals, families, and communities. While the facts are decidedly discouraging, Johnson describes successful national, state, and local efforts to fight meth production and prevent addiction, and shares hopeful stories from recovering meth addicts.

Other Books
Willpower's Not Enough: Recovering from Addictions of Every Kind by Arnold M. Washton
Tweakers : How Crystal Meth Is Ravaging Gay America by Frank Sanello
The Leviathan: The Nation Testifies by Steve Box
Dare 2 Dig Deeper Series: Lethal Haze The Vicious Truth About Drugs & Alcohol by Focus on the Family
Parents Guide to Top 10 Dangers Teens Face by Stephen Arterburn & Jim Burns (Paperback)
Many parents feel overwhelmed by the dangers facing their teenagers. Discover how to recognize problems early and how to combat them.

Helpful Resources

Here are some helpful resource websites.


Growing Up Drug-Free,
U.S. Department of Education.
Available by calling 1-877-433-7827.

Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Available from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
and Alcoholism at
or by calling 1-800-487-4889.

Keeping Youth Drug-Free, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Available by calling 1-800-729-6686
or by visiting

For a description of effective school and community
prevention programs and strategies, you
can also visit

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hitting close to home (Wyoming)

Star-Tribune staff writer

ETHETE -- The day of the bust, a helicopter chopped the 80-degree air above the Wind River Indian Reservation, and teams of police moved across the reservation like phantoms.

“I seen helicopters, and I know the only time there are helicopters is when they're going to drug bust,” said Tashina Medicine Cloud, a 19-year-old Northern Arapaho who lives south of Riverton.

By week's end, 43 people had been swept up in Wyoming's biggest-ever drug bust. If convicted, they face years of federal incarceration for running a mafia-style methamphetamine ring that targeted the reservation because of perceived loopholes in law enforcement.

A similar bust a year ago netted two dozen suspects, including a tribal judge, but the latest crackdown still came as a shock to many.

Ethete resident Millie Friday scoffed when she heard rumors about another bust. “Usually, they do one big thing and that's it,” Friday said.

The sense of awe grew when the U.S. attorney for Wyoming released a list of suspects, including several common reservation names and some from Riverton, Casper, Pavillion, other states and Mexico. Ten suspects were still at large.

“It's surprising to see and hear who all is in there,” said Maryjane Goggles, a Shoshone who attended a meth awareness conference last week in Ethete. “Maybe one is your relative or your next-door neighbor or an acquaintance.”

A week after the bust, reservation residents were still grappling with the implications for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone people at Wind River.

For many, the bust more fully revealed the scope of meth addiction on the reservation. Others couldn't see beyond the grief of losing loved ones in the police crackdown.

The most optimistic hoped the bust is the spark that eventually will drive meth from the central Wyoming reservation. Others were trying to adjust to the weight of another evil heaped on the backs of the Arapaho and Shoshone people.

The bust is just one more black eye for the reservation, they said.

“When they know it's cooled off, the (drug dealers) will come back,” said Cassie Oldman, an elderly Arapaho who lives in the Beaver Creek housing project just south of Riverton. “It's like a worm crawling back into an apple.”

An emerging problem

Until about 2000, meth was nearly unheard of on the reservation. Alcohol, long the bane of the Arapaho and Shoshone, seemed the drug of choice.

Fremont Counseling Service in Riverton and Lander reported about 15 meth-addicted clients in 2000. Today, the number is around 100, and meth users far outnumber those who seek treatment strictly for alcoholism, said Becky Parker, recovery services manager in Riverton.

The nonprofit counseling service also sees more clients with mental problems linked to meth-related losses of family and pregnancies. Also on the rise is the number of children who suffer because their mothers ingested meth during pregnancy, Parker said.

The tribes run two limited programs for addicts. Fremont County, where most of the reservation is located, has no inpatient treatment centers.

Meth users smoke, snort or inject the drug for a high that can last all day. The highly addictive stimulant can cause extreme paranoia, delusional thinking and violence when the high begins to crash. Long-term use can lead to brain damage and death, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

How it worked

The drug gang at Wind River trafficked in a nearly pure form of meth manufactured in “super labs” probably located near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Authorities are clear that the drug gang targeted the reservation because of loopholes in law enforcement jurisdictions that granted a level of immunity to the dealers.

The dealers established a meth pipeline and funneled the drug from Mexico to the reservation, police say. Some believe Mexican men sought out and married American Indian women and exploited ties to their families to further shield their operation.

“The Native American girls are easily lured in by Mexican men who flash a little money,” said Diane Yellowplume, a Sioux from South Dakota who raises 11 children and foster children at Beaver Creek.

Authorities think the drug gang was selling about 7 pounds of meth a month. That's about 15,872 “hits,” with a street value of around $430,000, they said.

“We see people on meth every day,” said 13-year-old Malia Means, a ninth-grader at Wyoming Indian High School. “You know that they are on it. They're twitching, and their eyes are all weird.”

'Going downhill'

It was hard to find anyone who was not pleased that the alleged drug gang is out of business. Even those with relatives caught up in the mix were loath to say the crackdown was wrong.

Shawn-tey Brown's three cousins were arrested in the sting. The Arapaho woman is sad for her relatives but encouraged that law enforcement is taking meth seriously, she said.

“Our reservation was going downhill,” said Brown, a mother of four who said she dated a man who hid his meth use from her for months.

Yellowplume said she's ecstatic about the arrests, but she still knows of one drug dealer living in her neighborhood. “I feel they need to do more (busts) to get the point across,” Yellowplume said.

Goggles, the Shoshone woman who attended the meth conference, said the authorities should make an example out of drug dealers.

“Us old people, we're scared,” said Goggles, 67. “If they give them stiffer fines, stiffer jail terms, maybe they'll wake up to realize what they are doing.”

Federal authorities have promised just that.

“If you choose to target the citizens of the reservation and the citizens of Wyoming to distribute meth, Wyoming law enforcement will target you,” warned U.S. Attorney Matthew Mead the day the bust was made public.

The message may be sinking in. Drug dealers caught in last year's bust and their families were mostly stoic at initial court appearances. After the recent bust, tears flowed freely in the courtroom, Wind River Police Chief Doug Noseep said.

“I think that after this round, people will finally realize that if you want to go into that business, there's probably going to be some consequences,” Noseep said.

Children were terrified

Not everyone at Wind River was cheering the bust.

Valorie Means, whose uncle was indicted after the raids, said no amount of police action will strip meth from the reservation. Meanwhile, families continue to lose mothers and fathers who are accused of dealing and using meth.

“I thought it was wrong for them to come here and take families apart,” said Means, a 22-year-old Arapaho who lives at Beaver Creek.

Craig Oldman, a 20-year-old Arapaho from Beaver Creek, said the bust was terrifying for children who witnessed the police helicopter and armed officers barging into homes, arresting family members. And he doubts that all those arrested were the big-time drug dealers they are being made out to be.

“Drug dealers,” Oldman said, “they have all these cars and money. These guys they arrested, they didn't have nothing.”

Several tribal members criticized what they perceive as inequities in punishments doled out in Fremont County drug crimes. Goggles and others noted that while tribal members received long prison for involvement with the first drug ring, former Sheriff Dave King, a non-Indian, was sentenced to probation after stealing cocaine from an evidence locker in 2001.

Medicine Cloud, the 19-year-old from Beaver Creek, said drug arrests make the tribes look bad.

“We're supposed to be good people,” she said, referring to her tribe's core spiritual believes.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal, in a speech last week, warned against painting meth addiction as a problem of the Wind River reservation alone. “It is a state problem and a national problem,” he said.

What the future holds

Cassie Oldman, who uses a wheelchair and raises her four young grandchildren, blames widespread poverty on the reservation for the appeal of meth. She said tribal members snort, smoke and inject the drug to escape a life that's “hard enough” without the pitfalls of meth.

“I've seen a lot of kids do real good, and then in a year they are hit real hard with this drug and you don't even recognize them,” Oldman said.

And while meth seems to be hurting young adults the most right now, she predicted that the youngest Indian children will pay the heftiest price.

Motioning toward a group of bare-footed youngsters toddling through sagebrush in her yard, Oldman said: “Look at all these little kids. If the leaders don't do nothing about meth, what's going to happen to all of them? Will they go down the same path?”

Reach reporter Jared Miller at (307) 632-1244 or at

Just ordinary moms deserve accolades,too (Iowa)

By META HEMENWAY-FORBES, Courier Life Editor
My friends and I often joke that a celebrity can't make it on "E! True Hollywood Story" unless they've had a drug addiction, been an alcoholic or committed a crime.

When finally they emerge from the scandal, they're greeted with recognition and praise. The adjectives "courageous" and "determined" are liberally tossed about to describe the celebrity's turnaround.

Anymore it seems a prerequisite for accolades is a comeback story of substance abuse or scandal. Lately I've noticed the trend even when it comes to honoring good parents.

On a recent "Oprah" show, the featured guest was a single mother who was battling alcoholism. Oprah's camera crew followed the family as the mother entered a 30-day treatment center and emerged a new woman. Her aim was to begin a new life for her and her children.

The woman's transformation was nothing short of terrific, and she deserved praise for her commitment to turning the train around.

In early May, the Courier ran a story about Judy Murphy, an Iowa woman who had been addicted to methamphetamine from the time her oldest child was a toddler. After temporarily losing custody of her three children, Murphy, in and out of treatment programs for years, finally beat her addiction.

She earned a four-year degree and is credited with the development of the Moms Off Meth support group, which now has more than 20 branches in Iowa, including one in Waterloo. Murphy is now one of eight meth specialists for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

"I found out there was something good about me. I did really well in school. I got on the dean's list a number of times. I became active in the kids' lives, their schools," she said.

Murphy is a success story, no doubt, and what she has done is remarkable.

But also remarkable is Jean Youngblut of Waterloo, who has stayed on the straight and narrow her whole life, raising five children in the process. Now in her early 70s, Youngblut is still a caregiver and advocate for her youngest son, Mike, 37, who is disabled. As I watch her wheel Mike around the neighborhood, talking about Mike's favorite subject --- the weather --- I always think, now there's a mom who deserves accolades.

And how about Judy Crew, who raised three children, doing right by them even through the pain of divorce. Last week, Crew buried her oldest son, David. At just 29, David succumbed to cancer. Even in her grief, Judy's focus now is to raise David's young children in the same home of love and faith in which he was reared.

Then there's Nancy Newhoff, a career journalist and editor who's a mom of two. Her oldest just finished his second year at college and the youngest will be a high school senior in the fall. Newhoff's emphasis on education and community responsibility has produced two well-adjusted young adults.

None of these women have a juicy life story to tell. They've lived ordinary lives, untainted by scandal or substance abuse. They're just moms who did what they were supposed to do.

It's time they be celebrated as well.

Know an ordinary mom or dad you want to celebrate? Tell us about them on the Mommy Talk blog at

Meth Abuse Lands More Kids in State Care (Missouri)

Meth Abuse Lands More Kids in State Care

By Daniel C. Vock - The methamphetamine scourge is sapping the resources of state welfare agencies, especially in rural areas, as social workers struggle with the twin problems of helping addicts find treatment and their children find new homes. - infoZine - Figures in a new report by a coalition of child advocacy groups suggest that the number of children removed from their homes because of meth is rising.

Generations United, a group that promotes the involvement of grandparents and other family members in children's lives, issued the report Thursday (June 8) to push for reforms in federal welfare laws that are administered by states.

It wants Congress to make it easier for grandparents and other family members to support children in meth-affected homes by providing them some of the same resources foster parents receive. Its efforts received a boost Thursday, when the Senate Finance Committee set aside $40 million to support local efforts to deliver services to kids affected by meth use.

"Already overwhelmed by the shortage of services and treatment options to help children living with substance-abusing parents, child welfare agencies and courts in certain geographic areas, particularly in rural areas, are stretched to the maximum to respond to the rapid growth of meth use in families. Personal safety for child welfare workers is also a serious concern," the authors wrote.

But welfare officials not connected to the report said they've been facing a shortage in foster parents since the highly addictive drug -- known as meth, crystal meth, ice, glass and crank -- has become more widespread.

Despite aggressive efforts to limit access to cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in the surging home lab production of meth, the drug still accounts for a big chunk of child-welfare cases in states that have tracked the drug's impact.

In Montana, drug use is a factor in 66 percent of all foster care placements; meth is the drug at issue in 55 percent of those cases, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. That means meth is a more common factor than alcohol, which is involved in 52 percent of cases. (The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because there is some overlap).

In one year, Tennessee saw instances of children of meth-using parents going into foster care almost double, jumping from 400 in 2003 to 700 in 2004, according to the report.

And a study of 16 counties in the southwest corner of Iowa showed that 49 percent of foster care placements were meth-related.

Drug and alcohol abuse of various kinds is common in cases that lead to state intervention in families, but meth use presents unique problems.

Meth users are much more likely to manufacture their own drugs, leaving toxic chemicals in their home that can poison their children. That means in meth busts, children usually are taken straight from their homes to a hospital, where they undergo testing and, if necessary, treatment. To avoid further contamination, the children often are forced to leave behind their possessions, including clothes, toys and school materials.

Meth users tend to be both paranoid and violent. That, combined with toxic chemicals, poses dangers for case workers who visit the homes of parents who use or make the drug.

Betsy Dunn, an investigator who handles severe child-abuse cases for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, said she got a headache the first time she visited a home that had a meth lab. Her co-worker fared worse, breaking out in a rash "from head-to-toe" by the next day.

Furthermore, it generally takes longer for meth addicts to kick the habit than for alcoholics, explained Gayle Shirley, a spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Meth addicts may need as much as two years to recover and reclaim their kids, she said.

In several states - including California, Montana, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Tennessee - state agencies have partnered with other social service organizations and law enforcement so that children in meth homes have access to an array of services.

Cristi Cain, the director of the Kansas Methamphetamine Prevention Project, said children exposed to meth often need medical treatment, mental health services or instruction from special education teachers.

She said Kansas counties that have participated in the Kansas Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, the training program for different professionals that Cain's group spearheads, have been better-equipped to take care of children than those that aren't part of the program.

Drug Endangered Children programs such as the one in Kansas, are now operating in 20 states. Congress set aside $20 million for states to establish similar programs or expand their current initiatives when it reauthorized the USA Patriot Act earlier this year.

Another provision of the Patriot Act restricted the sale of medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Federal law now requires stores to keep the drugs behind the counter and limits the number of pills customers can buy. Shoppers also must present photo identification and sign a registry when purchasing the medicines.

The federal changes came after 39 states made pseudoephedrine-containing drugs more difficult to buy than other over-the-counter medications.

Kansas started requiring stores that sell pseudoephedrine to stock them behind the counter last July. Since then, the number of home meth labs discovered by police plummeted, but Cain said she hasn't seen a decrease in the number of child welfare cases as a result.

As ingredients for meth become harder to get, drug users are increasingly turning to meth smuggled in from Mexico, she said.

Send your comments on this story to . Selected reader feedback will be posted in the Letters to the editor section.

Source: Contact Daniel C. Vock at - © 2006

Healing Helpers Coalition to sponsor community briefing on meth (Texas)

By EMILY TARAVELLA, The Daily Sentinel

The Healing Helpers Coalition of Deep East Texas will sponsor a community briefing from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at First Christian Church Chapel on the corner of Mound and Park Streets.

The topic is "Meth, Violence and Children ... A Recipe for Disaster."

A panel discussion will be followed by a question/answer session, according to Melanie Richmond, one of the driving forces behind the Healing Helpers Coalition.

The methamphetamine lifestyle is characterized by violence, indiscriminate sexual activity, paranoia, weapons, volatile toxins and other criminal activities, according to the Healing Helpers Web site.

"This lifestyle has claimed the lives of thousands of people addicted to its powerful feelings of euphoria," the Web site states. "Millions of others have had their lives irrevocably changed by the mind-altering substance. However, one victim of methamphetamine that has largely been overlooked, until recently, is the child living in the world of the methamphetamine addict."

Children who live in homes where methamphetamines are used are often abused and neglected, the Web site states.

"The methamphetamine child is often the target of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and criminal activities needed to support the ever demanding chemical addiction," the Web site states. "Children from these homes are often suffering from emotional and physical conditions brought on by recurring trauma, and ingestion of and exposure to toxic, corrosive chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing processes. Providing a regimen of care that meets the complex needs of these children is costly and involves treatment for methamphetamine use, emotional disorders, behavioral conditions and developmental delays."

Prevention efforts are optimal in comparison to a costly treatment regimen that may or may not prove successful in overcoming the addiction, according to the Healing Helpers Web site. Prevention efforts have the potential to keep a child from becoming a victim of the methamphetamine lifestyle.

The Healing Helpers Coalition is working to expose the methamphetamine lifestyle as a life-altering and potentially fatal choice.

The coalition's goal is to prevent methamphetamine and drug abuse, raise awareness about resources for children when other prevention efforts fail, and to aggressively work to break the cycle of methamphetamine and drug abuse caused by those who manufacture, use and sell drugs.

Speakers who will address some of these issues at the upcoming community briefing include the following:

* Dr. Donald Smith, who earned his degree from Southwest School of Medicine in Dallas. His area of expertise is in violence and meth-related violence. He was also a Dallas police officer for 10 years.

* Dr. Sharon Walker, who has her degree in nursing. Her expertise is in sexual assaults and meth.

* Dewayne Cannon, MPO, who is a master police officer and is currently chief of police for the city of DeKalb (a post he has held for five years). Cannon has extensive experience in law enforcement and corrections.

* Professor Jean Storey, MSN, who is a professor of nursing at the Texarkana School of Nursing. Her expertise is in obstetrics and pediatrics.

* Dru Driver, MEd., who is a public school counselor with expertise in drug-endangered children in a school setting.

* Bart Craytor, JD, who is an attorney who received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Craytor also holds a degree in chemistry from OU. He has extensive experience in organic and inorganic chemistry. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

* Stephanie K. Stephens, district attorney for Nacogdoches County, who has been a prosecutor since 1990 and has tried more than 125 felony cases. Many of those involved drugs and/or children.

For information, call 552-9047 or visit

Emily Taravella's e-mail address is

Neighborhood disturbed by drug allegations (Tennessee)

Signs of discontent: Neighborhood disturbed by drug allegations

by Jessica Stith
of The Daily Times Staff

Two women on Travis Circle, just east of the Maryville city limits in Blount County, didn't love thy neighbor's actions, so they took matters into their own hands.

People who drive into the cul-de-sac may get the impression there is a lot of inappropriate activity going on -- or maybe just a neighborhood feud.

Signs stand in two yards toward the back of the circle making requests, demands, comical gestures and what some may see as accusations.

Cathy Wilkerson and Barbara Roulette, who live directly across from each other in the cul-de-sac, said they put the signs up May 10 in response to heavy traffic in the neighborhood, especially at one house in particular.

The signs make reference to problems they claim to see in the neighborhood, including dog waste in their yards, underfed and tied-up horses, and drugs.

The signs referring to drugs demand that people in the neighborhood stop using and selling all drugs -- including meth, crack and pot -- in order to keep the children in the neighborhood safe.

One sign appeared on Memorial Day that caught a lot of attention, and some say it went too far.

The sign read, ``Memorial Day Crack Sale, Two 4 One, Next Door.'' At night, the sign was lit by neon-blue and flashing-red lights.

The sign was propped up on the edge of Wilkerson's property just a few feet from the neighbor's driveway. It was removed two days after Memorial Day.

Edward Oxendine, a neighbor of Wilkerson, said he believes he was being implicated in the ``Crack Sale'' sign and is angry about the possible allegations against him.

Oxendine said the drug signs make him feel like he is being accused of something of which the neighbors have no proof. He said the heavy traffic in front of his house is due to friends of his and his son and his daughter stopping by to visit.

``All I'm saying to them is prove it,'' Oxendine said. ``If you can, I'll shake your hand.''

Wilkerson said the sign was not intended to point out any specific person or residence, but simply to grab the attention of the heavy traffic driving down their street and make them think about the children nearby.

The traffic in front of Oxendine's house is not new, Wilkerson said. It has gotten a lot worse over the past two years, she said, and they put the signs up when they and their children witnessed altercations involving weapons in the front yard of their neighbor's house.

See more of the story at:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


NEW YORK - As the discovery of AIDS nears its 25th anniversary, the gay community is grappling with a new epidemic, a dramatic increase in the use of what many consider to be the most dangerous drug in the United States - Crystal Meth.

In an effort to combat abuse of this highly addictive drug, New York City's LGBT Community Center announced the launch of a new ad campaign with the message: "Silence=Meth." The phrase "Silence=Meth" is a slightly modified but equally haunting reinterpretation of ACT UP's famous "Silence=Death" campaign during the 1980s AIDS crisis, when posters bearing the words "Silence=Death" were plastered throughout New York City. The posters became a wake-up call to action for gay and bisexual men, who are most vulnerable to AIDS.

"Twenty-five years ago our community refused to be silent about AIDS," said Richard Burns, executive director of the Center. "Just as the ACT UP campaign alerted the gay community to AIDS in the 1980s and '90s, the Center's "Silence=Meth" campaign will focus attention on the danger of Crystal Meth and what the entire community must do to help prevent abuse and addiction to this drug."

Affecting all races, ages and sexual orientations, Crystal Meth is a powerful mood-altering stimulant that has been sweeping through communities across the United States. In March 2006, Congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which restricts the sale of over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to illegally manufacture Crystal Meth. Although seizures of "Moonshine Meth" labs have slowed slightly under the new law, the drug still holds a tight grip on many communities across the country, including New York's community of gay and bisexual men.

"The ACT UP ads put our government on notice that the gay and lesbian community would no longer tolerate its silence on the devastation of AIDS," said Barbara Warren, the Center's director for Organizational Development, Planning and Research. "Today, we need to keep talking within our community about how to address the impact of meth use and we also need to hold government accountable for giving us the necessary resources to effectively implement meth prevention and treatment. Crystal Meth not only affects the user, but everyone in the user's life - friends, family, coworkers, community and society. No one can afford to be silent about Meth."

The Center's new ads will be posted throughout the Chelsea neighborhood urging action by friends and loved ones of Crystal Meth users. On the posters, below a pink triangle and the words "Silence=Meth," is the sobering statement, "25 years ago, our community refused to be silent about AIDS. Today, we must not be silent about Crystal Meth."

The Center's "Silence=Meth" ads are part of a larger campaign to focus anti-Crystal Meth messaging not only on the gay and bisexual men who use the drug, but on the friends and loved ones of the users as well.

"The 25-year separation of the two campaigns is particularly relevant because the epidemics are so closely connected," Burns said. "The relationship between Crystal Meth and HIV/AIDS has become clearer over the past few years with studies showing that Crystal Meth users are more likely to engage in unsafe sex and that HIV-positive men are more likely to use Crystal Meth."

In a 2006 survey of gay and bisexual men in New York City, approximately one in four indicated the use of Crystal Meth in the period of six months prior to the assessment. In a previous study this figure was estimated to be 14 percent, making New York second only to San Francisco as the United States city with the greatest number of gay and bisexual men who use Crystal Meth.

In addition to its counseling services, the Center has addressed the Crystal Meth crisis through its community forums, education campaigns, public policy advocacy efforts and independent research. Congress demonstrated in 2005 its support of the Center by allocating federal funds for the expansion and enhancement of the Center's Crystal Meth prevention and counseling programs.

The announcement of the "Silence=Meth" campaign comes just before June's National Gay Pride Month, an event marked by the annual parade through New York City on the last Sunday of the month.

Bound by drugs and violence (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)


Street gangsters in Winnipeg come in all shapes and sizes -- from aboriginal teens in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to white bikers born and bred in the suburbs.

Despite their differences, two things bind them: Drugs and violence.

Manitoba's gangsters and organized crime members -- last estimated at more than 1,500 -- are lured to the criminal underworld for reasons including a sense of belonging, personal protection and status. But it's money made from selling gang-controlled drugs that keeps them coming.

It's impossible to estimate the cash that sales of cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, marijuana and less common drugs puts into pockets of Winnipeg gangsters. Police have said the city's cocaine trade alone is worth more than $5 million a month.

A large portion of that trade can be traced to the city's two biggest outlaw motorcycle clubs: the Hells Angels and the Bandidos.

"I've heard them referred to as motorcycle enthusiasts and certainly they are that and more," Sgt. Rob Harding, a supervisor in the Winnipeg police organized crime unit, told Sun Media last fall.


"Probably the main part of their business is the drug trade. It's a money-making venture. And that's what they do."

In February, Winnipeg police arrested 13 people with alleged ties to the Hells Angels -- including Manitoba chapter president Ernie Dew. The bust came after an undercover police informant bought more than $400,000 worth of cocaine and meth from the bikers in less than a year.

That headline-grabbing sweep is the kind of bite Mayor Sam Katz wants to take out of organized crime.

After the provincial government provided the city with $4 million over two years to recruit an additional 48 cops, Katz and police Chief Jack Ewatski launched Operation Clean Sweep last November. It targeted street crime -- much of it gang-related -- mainly in the troubled West End.

"We're moving in the right direction. We need to do more," Katz said.

Besides the biker gangs and their puppet clubs -- mostly suburban white young men who run drugs and weapons for the bikers in order to insulate their superiors -- Winnipeg is home to Asian-based, aboriginal-based, African-based as well as European-based groups including the Mafia.

"We've got European connections here. We've got Italian connections here connected to Eastern Canada and eastern states, Chicago. There's some of everything," Harding said.

Some of the better known Winnipeg gangs are the Zig Zag Crew, the Indian Posse, the Manitoba Warriors and the Native Syndicate.

These gangs have a large presence at Manitoba prisons. The Native Syndicate, in fact, was started behind bars.

One of the newest gangs in Winnipeg made national headlines last October when Phil Haiart, a 17-year-old bystander, was killed by a stray bullet allegedly fired as a result of in-fighting between the Mad Cowz and splinter group African Mafia.

Cops became aware of the Mad Cowz in 2004. The gang is composed mainly of teenage African immigrants who live and sell cocaine in the city's West End.

The gang is known for its ruthlessness, but has managed to keep itself out of the news lately after an initial flurry of attention following Haiart's shooting.

States fight meth plague with registries (Washington DC)

By Elizabeth Wilkerson, Special to

Like sex offenders and tax dodgers, methamphetamine makers are now being listed on Internet registries in several states.
Tennessee brought the nation’s first such registry online in 2005, and it now carries information on almost 400 convicted meth manufacturers, according to the state Bureau of Investigations. In Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) signed a law June 4 creating a convicted meth manufacturer registry .

The registries mark a new tool for states in combating the abuse and production of the illegal drug, also known as crystal meth, ice, glass and speed. It can cause stroke, paranoia, anxiety, delusions and violent behavior, as well as damage to blood vessels and skin abscesses in those who inject the drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Meth production labs are dangerous, smelly and toxic to children exposed to the fumes. Nearly all states already have laws limiting sales of cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.

At least four states -- Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and West Virginia -- have bills pending that would create a meth-maker registry. An Oregon bill would requires the state to alert residents -- whether through an Internet registry or other means -- when a convicted meth maker is released from prison into their area. And Montana has included meth makers in its sexual and violent offender registry since 2003, though it does not list them separately.

States differ on how they expect their registries to be used. In Tennessee, the registry is posted on a publicly accessible Web site and was established in response to complaints from residents and from landlords whose property had been damaged or destroyed by meth production, according to Jennifer Johnson, director of communication for the state’s bureau of investigation.

State Sen. William R. Haine (D), the primary sponsor of Illinois' law, said his state's meth registry primarily will be used to help law enforcers by reducing the time and expense of searching through conviction records rather than to inform the public. The public isn’t restricted from viewing the registry online, he said, “but as a practical matter it would be rather boring to the average person unless they’re curious.”

In Tennessee, the registry lists the offender’s name and date of birth, the offense, the county in which it took place and the date of conviction. The Illinois registry will contain similar information, as would registries proposed in West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Lawmakers and law enforcers said the meth-maker registries differ from sex-offender registries, which states now rely on to post the whereabouts and often pictures of released sexual molesters. In Tennessee, the names and date of birth -- but no picture or current address -- of convicted meth manufacturers are sent directly to the registry by the courts, Johnson said, unlike sex offenders who are required to register in person and re-register regularly. Also, those on the meth registry can appeal to have their names removed from the list after seven years.

Johnson and Haine said the costs of running the meth registries were minimal. The start-up costs for the Tennessee registry were about $50,000, covered by a grant.

The number of seized meth labs nationwide decreased from 1999 to 2004, but rose in the Midwest, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said more meth labs were seized in Tennessee (786) and Illinois (923) than in California in 2005 (434).

Oklahoma estimated that an average meth case costs $350,000, including $54,000 to treat the meth user, $12,000 in child welfare services and $3,500 to decontaminate the area, which essentially is a hazardous waste site. For every pound of meth produced, about six pounds of toxic waste are left behind, said Blake Harrison, a senior policy specialist specializing in criminal justice for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oklahoma was the first to restrict the availability of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine by moving certain non-prescription cold tablets such as Sinutab and Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter. Shoppers in Oklahoma are limited in how many packets of the medication containing pseudoephedrine they can buy at one time and must show ID and sign for the pills.

Send your comments on this story to Selected reader feedback will be posted in the Letters to the editor section.

Contact Elizabeth Wilkerson at

New meth clean-up law (Hawaii)

A new law requires the health department to come up with a plan on how to respond to contamination from meth-amphetamine labs.

Seventeen makeshift labs were shut down in Hawaii last year. The residue from the chemicals used to create crystal methamphetamine are very toxic.

A quarter of the time, children live in those homes.

"Methamphetamine covers everything in a methamphetamine lab. It covers what they chew, it covers what they put in their mouths, it covers the carpets it covers the draperies, it covers everything and that gets into small children," says Honolulu City Prosecutor, Peter Carlisle.

Another bill expected to be signed soon allows law enforcement to "bill" drug users for the clean-up of illegal meth labs.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Update to Death by Meth Readers


I just want to let you know that the stories I read every day regarding the topic of Meth are OVERWHELMING. I have in my files 25-30 stories every single day and I know that doesn't cover everything going on.

This is so sad to me that Meth is so rampant and destructive in the lives of so many. It is not only a U.S. problem but a world problem. People all over the globe are dealing with this.

For those who pray, please pray. For those who don't, please be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Be open to helping people to go in the right direction. What is the right direction? AWAY FROM METH.

Good day.


Hispanics Are Target Of New Crystal Meth Warning (Illinois)

Steve Miller Reporting

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780/AP) -- Crystal methamphetamine use among Hispanics is the focus Monday as representatives from the White House and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America meet in Chicago.

WBBM Newsradio 780's Steve Miller reports the devastating effects of crystal meth is the heart of the message that some anti-drug activists say has been lost on many Hispanics.

And those activists are in Chicago Monday to repeat the message on meth - in English and in Spanish - as they release a series of public service announcements.

Alina Diaz of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America says fewer Hispanic parents talk to their children about the dangers of drugs - compared to African American and white parents.

"I'd like to encourage parents and families to talk to each other and talk about the dangers of drugs - to confront the problem, as opposed to ignoring it. And even if you don't think there's a problem of drugs in your home, I encourage parents to talk to your kids and let them know what they could face out there."

"It's a very realistic campaign. We're not sugar-coating our message. We're telling young adults exactly how meth can destroy you."

The nation's drug czar says Hispanic teens are almost twice as likely to have tried methamphetamines than white or black teenagers.

John Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, was in Chicago Monday. He released the new series of anti-meth advertisements in Spanish and English.

Some of the ads emphasize the physical damage meth use can cause, such as rotting teeth and skin lesions.

Walters spoke in downtown Chicago at Prevention First, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse and related issues.

Methamphetamine can come in the form of a crystal-like powder or rocklike chunks. It is an addictive stimulant that can be smoked, snorted, injected or taken orally.

Two-thirds of the country's meth supply come from labs in Mexico and Southern California run by street gangs and the mob.

Meth can be made out of household ingredients such as cold medication, drain cleaner and antifreeze.

Illinois and several other states have put limits on how much cold medicine people can buy.

Governor Signs Meth Database Into Law (Illinois)

Registry Will Track Convicted Manufacturers

(AP) SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a law today that will require the Illinois State Police to create an Internet database to track convicted methamphetamine makers.

The Methamphetamine Manufacturer Registry will include the convicted person's name, birth date and the type of crime and the county where it was committed.

The information will be collected by local circuit court clerks and the Illinois Department of Corrections and will be available on the Internet to police and ordinary citizens.

The governor also signed three other pieces of legislation aimed at reducing meth manufacture and trafficking.

Sioux Falls Drug Traffic (South Dakota)

Two significant drug busts in the past two days. In the most recent, Sioux Falls police say they took a major drug distributor off the streets.

Twenty-three-year-old Jose Navarro pled not guilty today to an immigration violation for providing a false social security number. Sioux Falls authorities say they have been investigating Navarro since late 2005. Last night, the area drug task force served a search warrant at his home on East 16th Street. There, they seized "ice" meth, marijuana, and $62,000 cash police believe came from drug sales.

Navarro’s arrest comes just 24 hours after another man was picked up in Tea for having a storage shed full of marijuana, meth and cocaine.

Police say one reason they are making more and more drug busts in Sioux Falls is because of the city's location. Sioux Falls is at the intersection of two major interstates, which makes it a tempting place to stop as drugs are transported between larger cities like Denver, Omaha and Minneapolis, and even Chicago. But authorities say the drug market is mostly driven by supply and demand.

On top of being a tempting off-ramp between major drug markets, Sioux Falls has become a place where dealers can turn a profit on drugs they bring in from larger cities.

“They can purchase the product there for an amount, and they can sell the product here for a higher amount,” said Loren McManus with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

McManus says in the most recent drug bust, it’s unlikely any drugs were actually produced locally, but rather brought in to be sold.

“You're always going to have those people who want to come into our town, perform their work and then leave,” McManus said.

He says the drug market operates much like the overall economy—what’s in demand on the street is also what police will find in the hands of dealers.

“If it's crack cocaine that's most popular, that's what they are going to go after. If its methamphetamine, that's that they'll go after,” McManus said.

Tougher laws protecting key ingredients have police uncovering more drugs passing though the city, instead of being made in Sioux Falls.

“We may see an increase in the import of products because of the fact it is so difficult to get the items needed to make them here,” McManus said.

But dealers will go where they can make money. And warmer weather typically brings more people into Sioux Falls, which means more potential buyers.

“We're talking about students being out of school, people coming into the market for events, so there are more people for the dealers to offer their product to,” he said.

Police in Sioux Falls say another reason we may be hearing more about drug busts is people are more aware of the problem. Police receive a lot of help from people who call the crime stoppers number when they notice suspicious activity in their area. And they say community involvement is a key part of keeping drugs off the streets.,48473

Fundraiser to benefit Mothers Against Meth (Kansas)

By Jean Plummer ‘Potpourri'

I want to once again thank Krystal Wallace and the Mothers Against Meth (MAMA's) group for their intense efforts to protect our young people and others from the destruction of the use of methamphetemines. Their educational efforts cost money. They supply booklets and other material, but give their time, gas money, etc., to carry their message to many groups and individuals.

To raise money for the booklets and a much needed projector/dvd player, they are having a fundraiser on June 10. A band, spaghetti dinner and silent auction will bring some fun and entertainment to the evening.

The event will be held at the Hot Rod Café in El Dorado (The old El Dorado Theater). The dinner is $5 and the money will be raised from the auction.

As I talk to more and more parents who are dealing with drug addicted children, it breaks my heart that they are going through these tough times, and that they did not recognize the symptoms sooner.

I was shocked to learn about the effects of meth and the destruction it causes. Let's help this group fully inform our community about this growing problem and help them help others. It touches all socio-economic groups, and no one is immune. For a program on information, a support group, or just how you can help, call Krystal at 322-8227, or e-mail her at:

Meth film to make citizens more aware (Alabama)

By George Jones
The Reporter

Published June 6, 2006

“Everything you’re seeing done here today is all free. No one is being paid a dime. Everybody is doing this on a volunteer basis. It is an incredible collaboration of law enforcement, fire, DHR and the Marshall County Court Referrals Department [MCCRD],” said Drug Free Marshall County, [DFMC] Program Director, Wes Gallant.

Gallant was speaking about the effort Friday by members of the Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit [MDDEU], MCDHR, MCCRD, DFMC, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama ABC Board, Macedonia Volunteer Fire Department and Charter Communications of Albertville, as well as several individuals who volunteered their time as actors to produce a public service announcement commercial for DFMC.

Angela Sparks with the MCCRD said the film is being produced to “…bring awareness to the public concerning drug endangered children.”

Following a search for an appropriate location and house to be used in the filming a house in Jackson County owned by Randy Haynes was chosen.

The interior of the house was made to represent the typical interior of a residential methamphetamine lab.

Actors portrayed the mother, father and four children ranging from a newborn, a 2-year old, a 9-year old and an 11-year old.

The scenario involves a realistic raid and arrests by MCDEU and other law enforcement agencies of the parents, and placing the children in the protective custody of the MCDHR.

As a poignant reminder of the dangers and potentially lethal results associated with chemical methamphetamine labs in a residential setting, the house was blown up.

Sparks re-emphasized the point of the PSA is to demonstrate “…the chemicals involved in the meth lab pose a serious danger to the public and the children who are exposed to those chemicals.”

Sparks said, while she didn’t have figures for the surrounding counties, “…in Marshall County alone several hundred children are exposed to methamphetamine, the chemicals and the labs. We want to make the public aware of the situation so we can protect those smallest victims.”

The long term effects of exposure to this drug and the activities surrounding it have, according to Sparks, “Yet to be determined, but I think the future will hold those answers for us.”

Gallant praised Sparks’ ability to pull all the agencies involved together to produce the film at no cost to the county.

Two PSA commercials will result from the filming, Sparks said.

One will be geared directly towards drug endangered children, while the other will be directed at the hazards surrounding meth labs,” she said.

Sparks expects the PSAs should begin airing on Charter Cable TV in Marshall County within the next six weeks.

All the law enforcement members involved in Friday’s filming expressed their appreciation for everybody’s involvement in getting the message across to the public about the dangers of methamphetamine, especially to children.

Meth costs man job, family (Waterloo,Ontario,Canada)

Former Toyota team leader caught in downward spiral, lawyer says


KITCHENER (Jun 6, 2006)

Addiction to crystal meth cost James Mustard his cushy job, his marriage and children and his $350,000 house.

The 28-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday in Kitchener's Ontario Court to possessing the highly addictive drug for the purpose of trafficking and to possessing marijuana for the same purpose. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Mustard was caught in December after a patrol officer stopped him on a Cambridge street for not having a rear licence plate on his car.

Crown prosecutor Katrina Braid said she will ask for a penitentiary term because methamphetamine is a drug that "ravages'' society.

People must be deterred from trafficking in this drug, she said.

Mustard's lawyer, Hal Mattson, will seek a conditional sentence.

Mustard has never been in trouble with the law, Mattson said. He was a team leader at the Toyota car plant in Cambridge, earning $36 an hour. He had a family and a nice home.

His life spiralled downward after he got caught up with crystal meth, a drug that has been called the scourge of Perth County, where it was introduced in 2001 and has been proliferating since.

In Waterloo Region, cocaine is still the "primary problem,'' according to Staff Sgt. Frank Sinko, who heads the Waterloo regional police drug unit.

"It's fair to say we're starting to see small seizures of crystal meth within the region," he said. "It all comes down to availability and cost.

"Due to our close proximity to Perth County, where it has been identified as a significant problem . . . that has allowed it to show itself in our region.''

Sinko said that once crystal meth gains a foothold in a community, it quickly takes over in the drug trade from some of the other hard drugs.

Mattson didn't say how Mustard got started on crystal meth or how long he was snared by it.

Full details will come out at his sentencing, he said.

However, he said Mustard once ended up in a psychiatric hospital because of the effects of the drug.

"He was delusional,'' Mattson said outside court. "This is the first guy I've seen like this on crystal meth -- the first example of someone going from someone with everything to the bottom.''

At Mustard's sentencing, the prosecutor will have an expert from Stratford police testify about the devastating effects of crystal meth.

Sgt. Rick Hawley is unit commander of the Mount Forest drug enforcement section of the OPP and provincial clandestine lab co-ordinator. He's made numerous arrests related to crystal meth and is familiar with what it can do to a person.

"Meth is probably one of the most addictive drugs out there today,'' he said in an interview yesterday.

Recent addiction statistics from the United States show "it's about a six per cent recovery rate, which is the lowest of any drug out there,'' he said.

The drug, which stimulates the central nervous system, can cause people to become violent, paranoid and delusional, he said.

"It's been likened to self-induced mental illness because of the effects it can have on you.''

Users can experience weight loss, increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, shortness of breath and rotting teeth. That's because one of the drug's ingredients, ephedrine, decreases the size of blood vessels, which affects the gums.

Users may also end up with open sores caused by scratching at phantom bugs they think are crawling on their skin, due to hallucinations. They may have damage to their liver, brain and heart.

The federal government last year increased the maximum penalty for possession.

Earlier this year, medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, such as cough syrup, were pulled from stores, gas stations and grocery stores without pharmacies.

These are primary ingredients in the production of crystal meth, a synthetic drug made in illegal labs.