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.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Police track ever-changing meth sources (Colorado)

By Pamela Dickman
The Daily Reporter-Herald

What was developed in 1800, used by the government during both world wars and now is considered a scourge of the nation?

Methamphetamine — a highly addictive drug that is taking hold at all levels of society.

The Larimer County Drug Task force spends most of its time trying to combat the use and sale of meth.

On Thursday, the Drug Task Force’s Lt. Craig Dodd and Sgt. Gordon Coombes gave the Larimer County commissioners a past, present and future look at the drug.

During World War I and World War II, the U.S. government used it as a combat aid because soldiers on the drug did not require as much sleep, food or water, Coombes said.

Japanese kamikaze pilots also used methamphetamine.

Although the recipes and methods of manufacture have changed, the results are the same: Users seem to need less sleep and nourishment. However, authorities know a lot more about the dangers and deadly risks of long-term use.

Illegal use began to grow in the 1960s with motorcycle gangs, spread to blue-collar workers wanting to enhance their performance on the job, then to all levels of society, Coombes said.

When Dodd first became a narcotics detective in the late 1980s in Larimer County, meth mainly was used by motorcycle gangs, he said.

“The issue was very small, and we were able to deal with it very quickly,” Dodd said. “The threat today is much more severe.”

Meth use exploded in the late 1990s with the information explosion on the Internet.

Online, anyone could find recipes to cook the drug. The number of highly explosive and toxic labs increased.

The drug became much easier to make and three to four times more potent, Coombes said.

Now, people’s sources for meth are changing.

In the current decade, Mexican cartels are taking hold as the main supplier, and the number of labs is decreasing. Drug officers say most of Larimer County’s meth is streaming in over the southern border.

The decrease in labs — three busted in Larimer County so far in 2006 compared with 19 in 2005 — is partially due to new laws that make it more difficult to obtain the required number of cold tablets for a batch, according to Coombes and Dodd.

The drug seems here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future, as do the ripple effects — children neglected and exposed to toxic chemicals, spikes in other crimes including thefts to pay for meth and violent crimes associated with the paranoia linked to use and failing health of the addicts.

The task force spends most of its time dealing with meth and could use more officers to do even more, Dodd said.

“I do consider the Larimer County community safer than most,” he said. “But we’re on the brink of losing ground.”

By the numbers

6 pounds of toxic waste is created per pound of methamphetamine manufactured

95 meth-related arrests in 2005 by Larimer County Drug Task Force officers, or more than half of the total 175 arrests

3 meth labs dismantled in Larimer County so far in 2006

10.9 pounds of methamphetamine seized in Larimer County in 2005

83.5 pounds of marijuana, 1,894 pot plants and 12.9 pounds of cocaine seized in Larimer County. These drugs are considered “gateway” substances to methamphetamine use.

— Source: The Larimer County Drug Task Force

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