DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Meth by far most-abused drug in Nevada

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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