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.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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

Former Toyota team leader caught in downward spiral, lawyer says

DIANNE WOOD

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.

dwood@therecord.com

http://www.therecord.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=record/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1149545415595&call_pageid=1024322085509&col=1024322199564

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