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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Property owners learn how meth affects tenants

Property owners learn how meth affects tenants

by ashley wiehle, the southern
CARTERVILLE - Most know that methamphetamine leaves poor health and fractured families in its wake, but property owners often are affected by the more tangible traces of meth.

Southern Illinois has become a haven for meth in recent years, and area land lords have had to learn about the possibility of clandestine meth labs in their rental houses.

Property managers attended a seminar Tuesday that explained meth-making and what dangers might be left behind if a tenant was manufacturing the drug in their properties. Meth does require significant equipment, but it is dangerous equipment when there are residues and can be volatile under the best of conditions.

Ami Ruffing, a chemist from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, stressed the importance of safety in dealing with meth labs. The chemicals are reactive, Ruffing said, and can blow up or seriously injure.

"Remember that even contact with vapors can cause burns, too," Ruffing said. "Don't ever try to determine what it is by picking it up and sniffing it."

Michelle Hamilton, director of corporate training for John A. Logan College and president of the Williamson County Coalition Against Meth, said the training is crucial for property owners.

"It's an issue simply because of the contamination of the properties," Hamilton said. "They've already had instances around here where they've had people move into a rental home or purchase a home that is contaminated and the children have ended up getting very sick."

Hamilton said legislative action may be necessary to deal with the problem.

"This is something that probably needs to be addressed on a legislative level," Hamilton said. "They need to have some plan in place on how they're going to decontaminate these properties and who's going to end up paying for it."

John Prudent, a member of Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates, attended the training learn more to help CASA.

"We got into homes where children have been around meth, and we need to be aware of what's happening in the home," Prudent said.

Ruffing said knowledge is the key for organizations such as CASA and property owners when dealing with the meth epidemic.

"They need to recognize what they're seeing," Ruffing said. "They need to know what things are being used and at what stage. There are different hazards throughout the process."

(618) 997-3356 ext. 5807

Meth trade not gone, just evolving


Legislation alone never cures drug addiction. As fast as policy-makers write laws to choke supply, desperate users and the scum that keep them hooked find new ways to feed the need.
Witness methamphetamine. No sooner did U.S. states pass tough laws placing pseudoephedrine — a common cold-medicine ingredient used in meth production — out of reach of backyard cooks than drug cartels from Mexico and elsewhere stepped in to fill the void.
Meth use is still very much a crisis — more than 92 percent of local law-enforcement officials on the West Coast consider it their No. 1 drug threat. But how the drug ends up on the streets has changed in some significant ways.
Homemade meth is on the decline. Pierce County’s experience illustrates what’s happening across the country as meth cooks find ingredients harder to come by. The state Department of Ecology cleaned up 148 meth labs and dumpsites here last year, compared with 589 in 2001.
The drop is cause for both celebration and consternation. Meth’s toxic and explosive alchemy puts not only cooks at great risk, but also families and private property. Fewer meth labs means fewer children sickened by meth exposure and fewer homes, motel rooms, sheds and fields turned into hazardous waste sites.
But kicking meth isn’t as easy as shutting down some mom-and-pop labs. Cutting off the supply of meth ingredients here in the United States has given rise to “superlabs” in Mexico, where drug cartels use established trafficking routes to smuggle the drug into American cities.
The Mexican government has had some success at curtailing the drug trade by racheting down import quotas on pseudoephedrine, according to groundbreaking reporting by The Oregonian.
Federal data analyzed by the Portland newspaper last year showed that street meth’s purity had fallen while its price increased, suggesting dealers were having to increasingly cut meth with additives. Treatment professionals said some addicts, frustrated by chasing an unattainable high, were hitting bottom and entering recovery sooner.
But again the meth trade has adapted. Asian meth traffickers have easy access to meth ingredients thanks to lax oversight at drug factories in India and China. Using more sophisticated techniques, Asian “superlabs” can churn out 1,100 pounds of meth a week, compared to a home lab that makes an ounce at a time or a Mexican superlab that produces 10 to 100 pounds week.
Much of the meth goes to supply Asia’s burgeoning demand. But left unchecked, the drug could easily find its way to U.S. streets. In December, Mexican officials discovered a 19.5-ton cache of pseudoephedrine in a cargo container from China. There also is evidence that traffickers are tapping Indian and Chinese sources to mass-produce meth in Canada.
Plugging the foreign meth pipeline is a much more difficult and delicate proposition than cracking down on the guy making an ounce or two in his storage shed. Lawmakers in this state and others are winning one battle against meth and the harm it inflicts on communities; victory on the emerging international front is just as important if the nation is ever to beat the scourge of meth.