Meth in the News – II

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August 26, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

Regular readers of this Meth in the News column know that from time to time I have what I can only describe as epiphanies – moments of clarity when something becomes apparent to me for what is often the first time.

I recently had two!

Regular readers also know that I often say that if all my efforts help at least one person stop using methamphetamine – or even better, to not try meth for the first time – then it has all been worth it.

My first epiphany was the realization of another reason for writing this column and maintaining my website. It is to try and spread the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.

You may ask, isn’t that what you have said all along?

Well yes – and no. Yes, I have been trying to get the word out to try to convince people to quit using meth or not to start using meth in the first place.

But my epiphany was that it has been much more than that. I wanted to inform the general public about the dangers of meth, not just those who are or might use the drug.

And that’s no easy feat. There are many people who want the general public to believe that meth is no big deal. They say that not many people are using meth anyway, and for those who do, it’s not any different than using any other drug available by prescription.

Yet day after day I read that pounds of meth have been seized at the Mexican border or discovered when someone has been pulled over by police for a minor traffic violation. This suggests that lots of people must be using meth. What am I missing?

Furthermore, whenever I talk to current or former meth users, they always tell me that I would be amazed at how many people are actually using meth. And they say that I would also be amazed when I realized that meth users come from all walks of life.

I’d really like to hear from you. Is this really true?

You see, George Soros, and his Open Society Foundation, want the American public to believe that methamphetamine is nothing at all to worry about.

In 2014, a piece was published on the Open Society Foundation website titled, “Methamphetamine: Fact vs. fiction and lessons from the crack hysteria.” This article says that the concerns regarding the meth epidemic just represent hysteria.  What problem? There’s no problem.

This, you must understand, was all based on a small study conducted in New York and published in the journal Addiction in 2012. This study recruited only 13 men (but no women) with a demographic makeup that did not reflect those of the people who actually use meth.

The racial makeup of these men, who were all recruited from New York City, was “one Asian, six Black, two Hispanic, four White” as described in the manuscript. This is not a representative sample my friends.

But let’s assume that the racial/gender makeup of the study is not a concern. What did the study involve?

The subjects came into the clinic for 10 sessions. The subjects were allowed to snort 50 mg of meth on Monday and 12 mg on Thursday of week one followed by 50 mg of d-amphetamine on Monday and 12 mg on Thursday of week two. They were given placebo (sugar) to snort on the Monday of week three.

However, the doses of the drugs were based on body weight (mg per 70 kg). So someone who weighed 120 pounds would have only received 38 and 9 mg of each drug, respectively. Seriously!

Not surprisingly, the 13 subjects reported that these low doses of d-amphetamine and methamphetamine were of equal value. And more importantly, they chose $20 over either drug as often as they chose the money over the placebo.

Nevertheless, this small study remains the basis for repeated articles stating as fact that crystal meth is no different from Adderall.

For example, in February of 2016, a report was published on theinfluence.org titled, “A Neuroscientist Explains How He Found Out Meth Is Almost Identical to Adderall.” Of course, this article described the same data from the same 13 men reported in that small 2012 study.

Then on March 7, 2016, AlterNet posted a report called “America Totally Misunderstands Speed: Here Are 5 Things You Should Know About It.”

I had never heard of AlterNet before, but it turns out that AlterNet is self-labeled as a “progressive activist site.” And posts on AlterNet are picked up and reposted by “sister” sites, such as salon.com, fem.news, and others.

The piece from theinfluence.org was itself also reposted on AlterNet on February 10, 2016.

It gets even better.

One of the major “foundations” that supports AlterNet is the Drug Policy Alliance. This is proudly posted on the AlterNet Foundation Support webpage.

The front webpage of the Drug Policy Alliance site boldly states, “The war on drugs is a failure and it’s time to bring it to an end. Join the movement today.”

But it does not end there.

On July 1, 2016, another report was published on a website named, CE: Collective Evolution. This report was titled, “Neuroscientist Claims Big Pharma’s Adderall Is Almost Identical To Crystal Meth & Explains Why.” Once again this article contained the same rhetoric as the other reports described above. This website also featured a video of an interview from All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC. This time, however, the report claimed that “numerous studies have found Adderall, a legal drug prescribed and used by millions, to be nearly identical to crystal meth.”

That’s not true. This report was still based completely on the same small study published in Addiction in 2012.

Apparently these people believe that if they just repeat the same lies over and over enough times, then the lies will eventually become accepted as fact.

But meth is no joke. It is a big deal!  And people’s lives are at stake!

Finally, Jacob Sullum is a ‘contributor’ for Forbes magazine. Sullum wrote an op-ed piece in February of 2014 entitled, “Hyperbole Hurts: The Surprising Truth About Methamphetamine” that simply referred back to the Open Society Foundation “report” for the facts he used to make his claims.

Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in economics and psychology. His clever byline in Forbes reads “I cover the war on drugs from a conscientious objector’s perspective.”

Sullum’s resume regarding the neurobiology of drug addiction in no way compares with mine. But that does not matter. His weekly column is carried by newspapers across the United States. How can I compete with that exposure?

That was my second epiphany. How can I compete with the likes of George Soros, Forbes and MSNBC?

So maybe I don’t need to write this column each week. Maybe I should look for other ways to get the word out about meth – maybe I should find other venues.

You know, I was very hopeful when I made my impassioned plea on July 29, 2016 for ideas for developing a center to help former meth users become rehabilitated so that they could reenter society as sober and productive members. I expected to receive plenty of responses to my plea.

However, I received a total of two (2) responses – and thank God for those two. But is anyone even reading this column? Am I really the only one who cares?

But don’t worry – I am not giving up. People’s lives really are at stake – and they matter to me!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I still want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

 

August 19, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

The topics for this week’s Meth in the News column are quite varied, and as is often the case, also have an international flare.

First of all, the North Koreans are at it again.

I have several posts on my website, and I may have also mentioned North Korean meth production in past columns. If you really look, you will soon discover that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the official name for North Korea) has had a hand in the production of narcotics for many years.

How can that be, you might ask! Well, how do you think that Kim Jong-un is able to finance the development of the rockets and missiles that he has used to try and intimidate the free world? It’s not from selling corn and rice!

In the past, methamphetamine production in North Korea was overseen by Bureau 39 (or was it Office 39 or Room 39?). Anyway, Bureau 39 is a secretive component of the Kim regime that is said by some to add up to $1 billion each year to Pyongyang’s (the capital of North Korea) illicit economy via the sale of narcotics, counterfeit currency, knockoff pharmaceuticals and cigarettes, among other things.

Most of the meth produced in North Korea makes its way to China, although Chinese officials are reluctant to confirm that China has a meth problem. It does, by the way.

Some sources claim that Bureau 39 got out of the meth business a few years ago for a variety of reasons. But the slack was subsequently picked up by Asian crime rings that were able to seamlessly move large shipments of meth into northeastern China via regular trade routes.

Defectors from North Korea suggest that 80 percent of the residents of some towns have used meth. That’s a rather high number, but it may not be all that unrealistic.

You see, earlier this year, Kim Jong-un decided that he would thumb his nose at the world for the economic sanctions put onto North Korea for testing nuclear weapons by authorizing the construction of a 70-floor skyscraper in Pyongyang with more than 60 apartment blocks.

To get these projects done according to Kim’s unrealistic schedule – reported by some to be as rapid as another floor framed every 14 hours – hundreds of thousands of “citizens” have been coerced into working on them.

Phil Robertson, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, has suggested that this practice resembles forced labor.

According to Mr. Robertson, “It is a throwback to the Second World War when governments regularly resorted to forcing labor of their citizens.”

Some even claim that project managers are under so much pressure to finish the job on time that they have resorted to openly providing workers with a methamphetamine-based drug in the hopes that it will “speed up” construction.

This claim was attributed to a construction source in Pyongyang by Radio Free Asia earlier this month and was reported by several news outlets in Great Brittan.

If these claims are proven true, they will lead to even more international condemnation of the draconian Kim regime. Not only will meth have been used to fund the various projects, it will have been fed to what are no better than “slave laborers” to ensure that the projects were completed on time.

Closer to home in the United States, people also continue to do dumb things with or on meth.

Layton is a city of approximately 70,000 people located in Davis County, Utah. On Monday, August 8, 2016, a Layton Police sergeant stopped at a local Subway restaurant for lunch, and he ordered a lemonade drink with his food.

As he was driving away, he noticed that his drink “tasted funny” as though it contained foreign chemicals. The sergeant also had trouble breaking properly at a red light and knew something was amiss, so he drove to the Layton Police Station.

Other officers there could tell that he was obviously impaired, so they rushed him to a nearby hospital. There the drink was found to test positive for methamphetamine and THC.

The police were able to obtain surveillance footage from the Subway restaurant, and they subsequently arrested Tanis Lloyd Ukena, 18, on charges of surreptitious administration of a substance, which is a second-degree felony.

Layton Police Sergeant Clint Bobrowski told reporters, “The suspect [Ukena] was seen taking the sergeant’s order, filling his drink. The suspect left the sergeant’s drink on the counter and left the picture frame. In the video you can see him returning with something in his hand and then leaning over the sergeant’s drink for an unusual amount of time. The suspect then provided the sergeant with the drink.”

Mr. Ukena “denied putting anything into the drink,” according to reports from the Davis County jail.

Didn’t anyone tell him that there were surveillance cameras in the restaurant?

Surprisingly, this case is not all that unusual. It just so happens that on August 10, Jose Daniel Calvillorios, 42, of Redwood City, Calif., pled not guilty to putting methamphetamine in a co-worker’s Snapple drink at the Torres Auto Repair Shop in San Mateo County.

Mr. Calvillorios is accused of slipping the meth into the victim’s drink to “help him relax” and have “longer-lasting sex” on Monday, August 8, the same day that Mr. Ukena was accused of poisoning the police sergeant in Layton, Utah.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told reporters that the felony poisoning charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.

Happily, both victims made a full recovery. A 22-month-old baby girl in Phoenix was not so lucky.

According to reports from the Phoenix police, Natalie Renee Russell, 30, found her young daughter, Adalynn, unresponsive and not breathing. Apparently, a bottle of liquid methadone was left within reach of Ms. Russell’s three children, and Ms. Russell found the bottle empty next to Adalynn.

Methadone is an opioid, like heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Overdoses with each of these opioids can be treated in the emergency room with the antidote, naloxone (Narcan).

But instead of taking little Adalynn to the emergency room or seeking medical attention, Ms. Russell looked for answers on the Internet.

A witness told the police that Ms. Russell then did the unthinkable – she gave her baby daughter methamphetamine to “treat” the suspected overdose on methadone. I guess that she just happened to have some meth lying around in case of an emergency!

The baby girl was pronounced dead the next day by the Phoenix Fire Department.

I’m a pharmacologist, and I know better. But I even looked and tried to find somewhere on the Internet where it is suggested that meth is an appropriate treatment for an opioid overdose, but I could not find anything like that anywhere.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that an autopsy showed that the baby girl was found to have “toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamine in her body.”

On July 26, Ms. Russell was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse in the death of little Adalynn.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) had previously investigated at least four allegations of neglect involving Adalynn and her two siblings. Unfortunately for Adalynn, DCS was never able to substantiate any of the claims. With her death, however, DCS finally took custody of Ms. Russell’s two other children. Thank God!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

 

August 12, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

At the end of every Meth in the News column I state, “Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth.  Don’t try it – not even once!” There’s a reason that I make that statement – it’s true!

This week I am going to share three news reports with you. They may shock some of you. Others of you will not be surprised at all.

I am told time and time again by current and former meth users that I would be shocked and amazed if I really understood how many people were actually using meth and how they literally come from all walks of life. Just wait until you read these cases!

All of these cases are from actual news reports based on law enforcement interviews, arrest records and their associated allegations. While some of the accused may have admitted their involvement in the crimes they are charged with, I do not believe that any have yet been found guilty in a court of law.

The first case comes from Love County in Oklahoma. Love County is located on the southern border with Texas, and Marietta is the county seat.

On Tuesday, July 16, 2016, Love County Sheriff Joe Russell, 62, was arrested after the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury filed an accusation for removal from office against him based on a number of charges related to corruption in office.

These charges include allegations that Sheriff Russell was “maintaining a methamphetamine house” along with his son, Willie, who himself was already convicted in federal court for dealing meth last year.

Sheriff Russell was arrested by the FBI, which had been investigating him for several months, if not years.

The affidavit stated that not only did the sheriff’s son sell methamphetamine out of the house, but he also used the sheriff’s office patrol pickup — even snorting a line of meth off the console.

The affidavit also included allegations that Sheriff Russell allowed a fugitive, Sara Bamburg, to live in the house “as long as she had sex with him,” according to an unnamed federal agent.

The agent told a court judge that the woman would frequently use meth inside the sheriff’s house. “She referred to it as “booty bumping. It would be mixed up, placed in a syringe, and then shot into her rectum [by the sheriff’s son].”

The agent also detailed a report made by an informant accusing the sheriff of arresting a group of ladies in bikinis who he discovered drinking near the Red River. He arrested them, but instead of taking them to jail, he took them to his house “to have them dance, strip. Either Willie would strip them, sometimes Joe would… they (the girls) would then go ahead and partake of the meth that Willie would offer them and stay and party.”

I don’t know if all of these allegations are true, but it does appear clear that the sheriff allowed his son to sell methamphetamine out of his house. Otherwise the FBI would not have made the arrest.

And the deeper that you dig into Sheriff Russell’s past (and I encourage you to do so – there is much more than I could ever fit into this column unless I made it into a 3-part series or something), the more frightening this case becomes.

There are allegations that the sheriff may also know about the disappearance of Molly Miller and Coly Haynes.

In July 2013, the 17-year-old Miller and her friend were never heard from again following a car chase in Love County in which a James Conn Nipp was the driver.

Mr. Nipp is Sheriff Russell’s cousin and is claimed by some to be the last person seen with Ms. Miller.

Although Mr. Nipp was criminally charged in the case, he was never named a suspect in Ms. Miller’s disappearance.

The family hopes that they will finally find closure in this tragic case.

“The sheriff’s arrest, his removal from that office will definitely bring more answers,” said Ms. Miller’s cousin, Paula Fielder.

The next case is also out of Oklahoma, but this time in Craig County, on the northern border with Kansas.

Brian Lee Mossier, 41, and Jamie Marie Mossier, 38, both of Chelsea, were charged in Mayes County District Court in Pryor with cooking meth for their own use, according to a report published on August 6, 2016.

The felony charges include possession of a controlled dangerous substance, manufacturing of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of material with intent to manufacture, child neglect, possession of surveillance equipment during commission of a felony and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

It just so happens that Mr. Mossier was formerly the interim police chief for Big Cabin, Okla. He was terminated from that position on July 10, 2014.

Apparently Mr. Mossier also used a credit card issued to the Big Cabin Police Department to buy gasoline on July 20, 22, and 23 because he was “angry about the way town leaders had treated him.”

According to an affidavit filed in Mayes County, Mr. Mossier admitted to an investigator that he “had been manufacturing methamphetamine inside his residence to support he and Mrs. Mossier’s addiction” for the past two years.

His wife admitted to purchasing pseudoephedrine tablets so Mr. Mossier could make the meth.

As of last Friday, they were out of jail on $100,000 bail each.

The last case this week is from Fairfax County in Virginia. Fairfax County is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and has the second-highest median household income of any local jurisdiction in the U.S.

The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

On Thursday, August 4, 2016, Fairfax County Police arrested Richard “Scott” Silverthorne, 50, after he sold methamphetamine to undercover detectives with the Street Crimes Unit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tysons Corner.

He was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia

Apparently detectives contacted Mr. Silverthorne through a website, where he promised them a casual “group sexual encounter” with men in exchange for the drugs.

It turns out, however, that Mr. Silverthorne was in fact the Mayor of Fairfax City at the time, and had actually just been elected in May to a third term as mayor.

Mr. Silverthorne “did not resist” arrest, according to Fairfax County Captain Jack Hardin. “He provided a full confession on everything he did that night.”

On Tuesday, August 9, the City of Fairfax website announced that Mr. Silverthorne will resign as mayor effective Thursday, August 11.

Mr. Silverthorne also worked as a substitute teacher in the Fairfax County Public Schools, but he was fired from that job after his arrest.

So a former Police Chief, a sitting County Sheriff and the mayor of a city in one of the richest counties in the United States were all arrested due to their involvement with methamphetamine.

That’s why I say over and over again, NO ONE is immune from the effects of meth.  Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

August 5, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

Time and time again I have provided evidence in this Meth in the News column that methamphetamine is a major problem of epidemic proportions, not only in the United States, but around the world.

In July of this year, Congress passed a new bill to fight opioid painkiller and heroin abuse. The Obama administration also announced plans focused on providing more treatment options for people with opioid abuse disorders. That is wonderful news.

However, the methamphetamine epidemic remains unabated, and appears to be growing in many areas. Why is our government ignoring this problem?

Just three weeks ago in this column, I revealed that the chief deputy medical examiner for San Diego County, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, reported that he had seen more meth-related deaths in the last couple of years than he had seen in the past 20 years.

And these deaths did not include drug-related suicides, homicides or other causes of death in which meth was involved.

In addition, the number of patients in San Diego County with meth-related problems tripled from about 3,700 emergency room visits in 2011 to more than 10,000 in 2014. The extent of this problem is difficult to ignore.

But this epidemic is not confined to southern California. Similar reports are coming from much closer to home here in the Ark-La-Tex.

Jane Maxwell is a research professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Maxwell claims that a “new” meth epidemic is growing in the southern and western United States.

And even more disconcerting, Dr. Maxwell claims that the meth problem is “intertwined with increases in yet another problem: sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.” This relationship will have to be addressed in a future column.

However, one reason for the increase in methamphetamine use and dependence is that the Mexican drug cartels are using a precursor that produces a more potent form of meth.

Regular readers of this column should be familiar with the meth precursor, pseudoephedrine. That’s the component contained in certain over-the-counter cold and hay fever medications such as Sudafed. The use of pseudoephedrine to make meth in “one pot” or “shake and bake”
meth “labs” led to increased regulations on the sale of these cold medications.

Since the Mexican drug cartels can get almost unlimited amounts of any chemical that money can buy from chemical suppliers in China and India, they are using a different precursor, called phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), to make their meth.

P2P meth is much more potent than pseudoephedrine-based meth and has the ability to lead to a greater intoxication with an enhanced possibility of dependence. In other words, people get addicted to P2P meth more quickly.

According to Dr. Maxwell, “In 2015, 91 percent of methamphetamine tested in forensic laboratories in the U.S. was made with P2P from Mexico.”

That is frightening – 91% of the meth seized and tested in the United States was this more potent P2P-based meth! No wonder we have an epidemic in this country!

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report that meth is now among the two top drug threats in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Houston.

And similar to reports out of San Diego, the number of calls specifically due to overdoses on meth has doubled at poison centers in Texas, as has the number of people being admitted to treatment programs for meth.

Law enforcement and medical professionals are also alarmed over a surge in methamphetamine-related deaths in Oklahoma, according to newly generated overdose data reported by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A statement issued last week by Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics read in part, “The Mexican cartels are just pouring ice into this country in record amounts,” referring to black-market methamphetamine. “It’s simply just to feed the demand, which still remains very, very high for meth.”

According to the Chief Medical Examiner’s report, “Methamphetamine overdoses are soaring.”

Meth overdoses accounted for 265 deaths in Oklahoma last year, or nearly a third of all fatal overdoses. And the number of fatalities continues to climb despite a significant decline in the number of Oklahoma meth lab busts, which is attributed to the “surging imports of Mexican meth.”

But this problem is not confined to the United States.

Regular readers of this column know that meth is a worldwide problem. One especially hard hit area is Australia, and a new study sheds light on how significant this problem really is there.

The initial results from a study conducted in Western Australia by the State Government and the University of South Australia revealed that 31.6 kilograms (or 69.7 pounds) of meth were being consumed in the metropolitan Perth area each week.

This works out to an estimated 1.8 tons (U.S.) annually. The street value for this much meth is approximately $2B per year (that’s about $1.5 billion in U.S. dollars).

So how were these numbers generated, you may ask.

Testing was conducted each day, for seven days, every two months, at sewage treatment facilities in Perth. Yes, you read that correctly.

The raw samples were sent to the University of South Australia for analysis. The report did not detail how the samples were collected or analyzed. Talk about a dirty job!

Bunbury was added to the analyses in November 2015, and Geraldton was added in January of this year. Tests will also be initiated in Broome and 10 remote communities in the coming weeks.

In a statement from acting Deputy Police Commissioner Michelle Fyfe, she said that although these results were not unexpected, “Every member of the community should be shocked by the level of methamphetamine use in Western Australia.”

She went on, “These tests provide us with a level of data that we have not previously had. It is scientifically proven, it is peer-reviewed and it is accurate.”

The analyses in this study measured the number of doses consumed per day, not how many individuals were using the drug.

Using this measure, Bunbury recorded the highest rate of all areas tested, with an average of 558 doses each week per 1,000 people. Perth averaged 344 doses per week, while Geraldton recorded an average of 314 doses.

Nevertheless, Police Minister Liza Harvey said that “the data confirmed the extent of the state’s methamphetamine problem and would help evaluate past efforts and direct future resources.”

South West Labor MLC Adele Farina said she was shocked by the extent of methamphetamine use in Bunbury.

“We need to provide the facilities in Bunbury for those people who have this problem and who want to get clean to be able to access those facilities locally,” she said.

I would have to agree with her.

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth.  Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

 

July 29, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

As I have done many times before, I am going to use my prerogative to go in a different but related direction this week. It will still be about meth, but if you are looking for the next big meth bust or meth-fueled horrific act, I’m going to do something different today.

And, actually, I need your help!

This all came about because of what happened to two ladies that my wife and I met several months ago. We watched them as they fought their addictions. They have now both been clean and sober for several months, and we are so proud of them.

But then something happened. Something that is not new to me – I have heard it all before. I have received letters from men in prison pleading for help with this, and the same thing from women and men alike that contact me by other means. I have literally heard this cry time and time again.

There are many types of treatment programs – medically facilitated (like the medicines-based pharmacotherapy I have been developing for almost 30 years), psychotherapy, 12-step programs, faith-based programs, or a combination of these that do help people get sober, with varying degrees of success.

So someone goes into treatment, and gets clean and sober. Then what?

Some of you may be saying, Ok Doc, what’s your point?

You see, one of the ladies I mentioned above was released from treatment and had to move in with her daughter. The other lady was put on a bus to Monroe with nowhere to live. They are both scared to death now! They are scared that all of their hard work to become sober may suddenly dissolve if they can’t figure out how to live a sober life.

What do they do now? How do they restart their lives as sober members of society?

Yes, I have heard this same cry time and time again. I’ve had more and more people tell me that this is one of the major reasons for the high recidivism rate for drug addiction.

I even discuss this in my addiction lectures to medical students – I usually call it the “Lindsey Lohan” effect – not to pick on her, but because many people are familiar with her trips in and out of rehab.

While in treatment, it is relatively easy for her to stay sober. But when she gets out, that is when her problems start. And this also happens to many people who successfully complete treatment. They cannot deal with life on the outside sober, so they relapse to drug use.

Lindsey Lohan has wealth and people to support her when she gets out of treatment, and she still has had her problems with sobriety. Most people, including the two ladies I mentioned above, have nowhere to go – nowhere to turn!

It is not just an aspect of treatment. What if the newly sober woman grew up in a meth house? What if her mother or both parents used meth in binges, often neglecting her while she was growing up?

What if she started using meth herself as a young teenage girl and was exposed to repeated meth use and sexual abuse that lasted well into adulthood?

What if the newly sober man had left home while young and started using alcohol and marijuana, got into trouble with the law and spent much of his life either in detention or the courts? Now all he knows is his drug use and the hustle required for him to get by on the outside.

How can they learn how to get and keep a job? Where can they get the required job or social skills? Who will even hire them? Who do they turn to if everyone they know is either a cop or criminal?

Where do meth (and other drug) addicts turn for social rehabilitation after they finish treatment and get clean? Where can they find a safe place to live and learn the indispensable social skills that you and I take for granted?

There are so many aspects of our daily life that are considered “normal” and routine and are done by everyone that we know.

For example, you likely went to school or are in school now. You found and keep a job, and have somewhere to live with the utilities turned on for your use. You have a car, and pay for the insurance. You have a doctor and dentist you see regularly. You know how to shop for and prepare your meals. You know how to dress appropriately for the things that you do. You know how to use the Internet and library to find useful information. You know how to carry on a conversation with someone you just met. You know how to live your normal everyday life.

Most of us do these things almost without thinking. They reflect where and how we were raised, the learning and supports from our parents, the guidance of teachers, ministers, family and friends. They reflect our own determination based on our sense of self and security.

But when someone becomes totally immersed with using drugs, especially meth – and when that happens at an early age, they never learn these rather simple social skills. They don’t know how to write a resume, balance a checkbook, apply for a job, and maybe 100’s of other things that we take for granted to live in society today. What if they have been out of mainstream society for so long that they no longer remember the simplest of life’s skills?

You know what happens next, whether you want to admit it or not. When they cannot find a safe place to live or get a job or figure out what to do next, they RELAPSE! It’s as simple as that. Then they are using again, often committing crimes against you and me to feed their drug use. And we complain about the high crime rate.

There must be some way to help them stay clean and become productive members of society. It’s the other side of treatment that is too often neglected. Getting clean is hard work. Staying clean is harder work. They want to do it, but often can’t. We have to ask ourselves why treatment doesn’t seem to work. The newly sober woman or man just falls through the cracks. They have completed treatment and were sent on their way. They may be free of the drug, at least temporarily, but if they don’t learn – or relearn – how to be a member of society, they soon relapse.

I am asking for your help! They are asking for OUR help! I can keep praying to win the Powerball jackpot, but you know what the chances of that are. When my two new friends ended up with nowhere to go after they finished treatment, it was as though God finally told me that now was the time to do something.

So I need YOUR help!

Almost every family has been touched by drug addiction in one form or another, and many families have been torn apart by meth. And if not meth, they have been touched by alcohol, prescription drugs or cocaine, among many others. There are so many of you who can relate to what I am describing.

Furthermore, people who use meth tell me that I would be shocked beyond belief if I knew how many people were actually using meth today. You’ve heard me talk about this before. This is a much, much more widespread problem than our society has been willing to admit.

They need our help – and our love. They are as deserving of love as anyone else – we all are.

I know that there are halfway houses out there. But there are not enough – and people keep falling through the cracks. We HAVE to help them. My wife and I are being called to do something NOW to help, and we must start somewhere.

We want to provide an environment where newly sober women and men have a safe place to live – and where they can also learn the necessary skills to survive and lead a drug-free life.

We cannot rely on the government for help. Louisiana is out of money – look at all the budget cuts that have already been made this year. And believe me, more are coming. We also all know that the U.S. government is trillions of dollars in debt. The money is just not there. Besides, government grants and the associated government control are not the way to solve this problem.

This must be a grassroots effort, with communities coming together, providing money, facilities, and people’s time, effort, and love to make this happen.

So regular readers of this column, you know the horrors of meth addiction, both to the users themselves and to society. Will you help me?

What will this social rehabilitation look like? What needs to be considered, and what skills should be learned? How do I go about finding the support and the funding to get our rehabilitation facility started and operational?

If your family has been touched by drug addiction, and you have resources that we could use – let’s talk! If you have a way to help, let me know. It might be your knowledge, time, property/ facility, or money. There are so many of you out there that know something needs to be done, and want to be part of the solution. Let me hear FROM YOU.

It is time to quit pretending that there is not a huge drug problem in our country. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to the problem! It is time to stop thinking that the government is going to fix this. It is time to do something, time for us to do something – NOW!

Please let me hear from you! Future columns will discuss what you have to say and how you want to help, and how we can begin to make an impact in people’s lives.

Please contact me at nickgoeders@gmail.com. I truly need YOUR help!

July 23, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

I sat down on Sunday, July 17, 2016 to start this week’s Meth in the News column, but I just could not come up with the words. My heart went out to the families of the three brave law enforcement officers who were senselessly murdered in Baton Rouge.

And I also remembered the five brave men who were murdered in Dallas on July 7.

My prayers go out to the families and friends of all who were murdered and injured in these horrific attacks on the very people who serve and protect each and every one of us.

But because we were still in shock due to the shootings in Dallas, many of us may not have been aware of another shooting of multiple civil servants and a law enforcement official that transpired at the Berrien County courthouse in Michigan just four days later on July 11.

On that Monday, Larry Darnell Gordon, 44, of Coloma Township, Mich., was being transported within the courthouse for a court proceeding. While being transferred between his holding cell and the courtroom, Gordon attempted to escape.

Even though he was handcuffed with his arms in front, Mr. Gordon was able to disarm Berrien County Deputy James Atterberry Jr. Gordon took Deputy Atterberry’s service revolver and began shooting, wounding the deputy.

Gordon then shot and killed two court bailiffs, Joseph Zangaro, 61, and Ronald Kienzle, 63. He also shot and wounded a civilian, Kenya Ellis, who was a security guard at Benton Harbor High School.

Gordon was still holding a hostage when he was finally shot and killed by other officers who responded to the scene.

How terribly tragic and senseless!

What were Gordon’s charges? If you guessed that meth was probably involved – right you are!

It all started back on April 20 when Coloma Township police went to a home that Gordon shared with his ex-wife, Jessica Gordon, 39, on Tannery Drive to arrest him on a domestic-violence misdemeanor warrant.

When they arrived at the home, the police thought that they heard a woman crying in a shed located on the property, and as they approached the shed they noticed that a light was on inside.

Gordon was in the shed, and when he saw the police approaching, he ran and climbed over a privacy fence. Police found him under a neighbor’s backyard deck and arrested him there.

They also found a frightened 17-year-old girl inside the shed.

Apparently the teenage girl and Gordon had been in some sort of sick, meth-fueled relationship since October of 2015. Court documents revealed that Gordon gave the girl meth in exchange for sex.

According to a statement by Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic, “He gave her methamphetamine in exchange for sex, forced some penetrations, and assaulted her with weapons, and assault by strangulation. He also video recorded the sexual activity.”

Police reports documented that, “(The victim) stated Gordon would lock her in the shed when he would go away, keeping her from leaving and (to) hide her from Gordon’s wife.”

On at least one occasion, Gordon stuck a staple gun to the girl’s head and then threatened her with a folding knife while he sexually penetrated her against her will.

The girl told authorities that Gordon was convinced that she had hidden his drugs in her vagina, and on four to five occasions sexually assaulted her while accusing her of taking his drugs.

When they searched the shed, police officers found eight grams of crystal meth, about 30 grams of marijuana resin, a digital scale, two marijuana pipes, a glass pipe with burnt residue, a metal straw with white residue, a plastic straw with residue, a cell phone, a digital camera, binoculars, a folding knife, a collapsible baton and cash.

Police also found four videos on his cell phone showing Gordon and the girl involved in sex acts while inside the shed.

Gordon was facing a host of charges, which almost certainly prompted his ill-fated escape attempt. These charges included five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of production of child sexually abusive material, two counts of assault by strangulation and single counts of kidnapping, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Prosecutor Sepic told reporters that Gordon was facing up to life in prison.

Prosecutors were also investigating a similar incident involving a 16-year-old girl in 2006 in Berrien County, but they had not yet filed charges.

Nevertheless, no one needed to die in the Berrien County courthouse that day. How tragic!

This next case was hard for me to believe. In fact, I made sure to verify the facts in this case through multiple sources before I decided to report it.

This case comes to us from Star Prairie, Wis., a village of 561 souls located along the Apple River in St. Croix County.

Sarah Bradehoft, 27, had recently moved to Star Prairie from Florida, ostensibly to start a new life. She had been living in a residence there with three other adult women and four of her six children since Easter.

Local undercover officers were conducting a prostitution sting based on advertisements placed on the website, Backpage.com. Apparently prostitutes use this website to solicit men seeking their services.

Ms. Bradehoft was using the alias ‘Sabrina Clark’ and unknowingly exchanged several messages with an undercover officer. She directed him to meet her at her residence located in rural Star Prairie.

Imagine their astonishment when the undercover officers raided the residence on May 12 and discovered that Ms. Bradehoft had been conducting her “business” out of a chicken coop on the property.

Yes, you read that correctly – a chicken coop!! Have you ever smelled a chicken coop?

Perhaps the other “ladies” at the residence did not want her to conduct her “business” inside the house. But in a chicken coop? I am at a loss for words.

Ms. Bradehoft admitted to performing sexual acts on at least five “clients” inside the chicken coop in exchange money, which she called a ‘donation.’ How appropriate!

Ms. Bradehoft claimed that she needed the money to return to Florida. I guess she was not happy in Wisconsin. I would be unhappy too if I had to conduct my “business” in a smelly chicken coop.

The other ladies told the officers that they were concerned for the welfare of Ms. Bradehoft’s four children. A hair follicle test of her two-year-old revealed the presence of, you guessed it, methamphetamine and amphetamine. Cocaine was also found.

Ms. Bradehoft was charged with three counts of misdemeanor prostitution, one count of felony neglecting a child, and one felony count of second-degree reckless endangerment. She was released after posting a $500 cash bond.

Her children were removed from the residence. Thank God!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. No one! Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

July 15, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

I know I have said time and time again in this Meth in the News column that methamphetamine is a world-wide epidemic.

And I have also read what the “experts” want the public to believe – that the methamphetamine problem is blown completely out of proportion. They repeatedly state that the methamphetamine “hyperbole” is a nothing more than some right-wing conspiracy created simply to imprison poor people who have not really done anything harmful.

But I believe that the “experts” downplay the extent of the methamphetamine epidemic and the dangers associated with the long-term use of this drug simply to fit their own progressive political agenda.

Is there anyone out there who would call the United Nations a right-wing organization? I didn’t think so.

For the past 12 years, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published an annual report called the World Drug Report. The World Drug Report 2016 was published in May of 2016.

According to the UNODC website, the annual report “is published in the wake of the landmark moment in global drug policy, the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem.” This report “provides a global overview of the supply of and demand for opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on health.”

Now, this is a direct quote from the United Nations-sanctioned report. “Cannabis remains the most commonly used drug at the global level, with an estimated 183 million people having used the drug in 2014, while amphetamines remain the second most commonly used drug.”

So methamphetamine is second only to marijuana with respect to its use around the world. That is a world-wide epidemic as far as I am concerned.

In the United States, significant attention has been paid to the use of opiates – both prescription medications and illegal drugs, such as heroin – over the past several months due to the increases in overdose deaths associated with the use of these substances. The untimely overdose death of Prince is a recent example.

However, the UNODC report states that “the use of opiates and prescription opioids is less common [than cannabis or amphetamines], but opioids remain major drugs of potential harm and health consequences.”

The World Drug Report 2016 also analyzed drug trafficking. “After three years of relative stability, ATS [amphetamine-type stimulants] seizures reached a new peak of more than 170 tons in 2014.”

Globally, seizures of ATS have risen more than seven-fold from 1998 through 2014.

“For the past few years, methamphetamine seizures have accounted for the largest share of global ATS seizures annually.”

“North America has consistently reported the largest amount of methamphetamine seizures each year, whereas between 2009 and 2014, methamphetamine seizures reported in East and South-East Asia almost quadrupled.”

UNODC’s Indonesia country manager, Collie F. Brown, issued a statement on July 1 regarding the World Drug Report 2016.

According to Mr. Brown, “In 2014, crystalline methamphetamine was the primary drug of concern in Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Japan and the Republic of Korea.”

The World Drug Report 2016 also describes significant (“strong”) increases in meth seizures in the “Oceania” region, which includes Australia and New Zealand.

The report continues, “There is a growing number of users of crystalline methamphetamine in the [Oceania] region, as well as increased frequency of use among certain user groups, an increase in methamphetamine purity and a decline in purity-adjusted prices, all of which could aggravate the negative impact on the health of individuals and on society in general.”

It’s very clear that meth has become a world-wide concern. And it’s not just me or some “cowboy sheriff” shooting from the hip saying it. This comes directly from the United Nations.

Hyperbole? Give me a break.

Closer to home, KBPS out of San Diego ran an online report on June 27 titled, “San Diego: Addicted To Meth” by Kenny Goldberg. This insightful and informative report raised a number of issues that have also troubled me as I have immersed myself into understanding meth and the harm it produces.

The report quoted Dr. Jonathan Lucas, the chief deputy medical examiner for San Diego County.

“The last couple of years have actually been records for us,” admitted Dr. Lucas. “We’ve seen more methamphetamine-related deaths in the last couple of years than we’ve ever seen in the last 20 years.”

In 2014, there were 262 deaths that could be attributed to meth use, which was more than the number of people who died from the flu and homicides combined during the same time period.

Dr. Lucas also said that meth knows no age boundaries.

“For example, in 2014, our youngest meth-related death was a 17-year-old girl that jumped out of a second-story window while intoxicated with methamphetamine,” he said. “Our oldest was a 70-year-old man who had heart disease, but he was intoxicated with methamphetamine.”

And it’s important to remember that the deaths associated with meth-related overdoses do not include drug-related suicides, homicides or other causes of death in which meth was involved.

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Detective Chip Ayers echoed Dr. Lucas in a report out of Brookville, Ind. On July 5, Detective Ayers told attendees of an open house for the Stayin’ Alive Coalition that people don’t die of a meth overdose. They die of the complications ….

But the reality of the health-related effects of meth really hits home when you take a look at hospital emergency room visits.

In 2011, patients with meth-related problems accounted for about 3,700 emergency room visits in San Diego County. That number almost tripled in 2014 to more than 10,000 – in a span of only four years!

And as I have said many times in this column, meth can also alter brain function, producing severe mood swings, violent behaviors and delusions.

Finally, Detective Ayers also said, “One of the most common crimes they [meth users] commit besides homicides, robbery, battery and burglary is child victimization.”

“They will look for victims they can easily control, like children.”

How many times have you heard me say that I do this primarily for the children? That’s what I do! But if I can also help a woman or a man stop using, then all the better.

But perhaps my favorite quote from detective Ayers was, “You don’t hear about heroin labs blowing up.”

Amen to that!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

July 8, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

In last week’s Meth in the News column, I reminded the readers about how methamphetamine produces its intense euphoria by increasing the brain pleasure chemical, dopamine, to levels that no other drug or activity produces.

I also discussed how the increases in dopamine can begin to slowly damage the very brain cells that release the pleasure chemical in different parts of the brain, including the frontal cortex. This damage, plus the desire for that pleasure that meth no longer produces, can lead people to do things that they previously would never even consider ever doing.

Some even claim that meth is evil – that that it is of the devil.

As is always the case when it comes to meth, there were three cases last week – among many – that clearly illustrated the evil that meth produces. And while these three reports all carry a common theme, they could not be more different.

One involves a grandmother in Georgia. The second centers on a man and his friend in Minnesota, and the final story is about a man and his mother in Indiana.

I feel confident that these crimes would not have occurred if the accused in each had not used meth. But you can judge for yourself.

Sandy Springs is a suburban city in northern Fulton County, Ga., and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In March of 2016, Hayden and Taylor Shaw, along with their 9-month-old son, Kobe, were temporarily living with Ms. Shaw’s mother, Tonya Monroe, at her apartment at the Legends at Dunwoody Apartments.

On that fateful March night while they were fast asleep, they were suddenly awakened by Ms. Monroe.

“She had walked in,” Ms. Shaw said in a statement. “She walked over to his crib and she said, ‘He’s blue, Taylor, he’s blue!’ So I automatically jumped out of bed, ran over… and I looked down and automatically ran away, screaming and crying, ‘No!’”

They dialed 911, but to no avail. They could not revive little Kobe.

No one thought that anything was suspicious about Kobe’s death at first. You see, the baby was born with an undeveloped brain, and doctors did not even expect him to live to be five-years-old.

But the Fulton County Medical Examiner went ahead and ran routine toxicology tests on Kobe, not expecting to find anything unusual. The results finally came back the week of June 20, 2016.

Sandy Spring Police Captain Mike Lindstrom broke the news in a statement to reporters.

“Toxicology results came back positive for methamphetamine,” he said. “Something that should not have been in a 9-month-old child.” Captain Lindstrom said that little Kobe’s cause of death was a meth overdose.

Detectives now believe that the baby’s own grandmother, for some unknown reason, intentionally forced enough meth into Kobe to kill him.

They base this on the fact that it would have been physically and medically impossible for Kobe to have accidently crawled into any meth that might have been left within his reach. Kobe was so limited in his ability to move – he could not crawl, could not touch his hands to his face, could not do anything on his own. He stayed in his crib except when others picked him up to hold him and cuddle him.

Ms. Shaw told the authorities that her mother had a history of meth arrests. She was raised by her grandmother because of Ms. Monroe’s drug use. She and her husband wanted to believe her when she said that she was clean so that she could be a part of Kobe’s life for as long as possible.

Tonya Danyial Monroe, 45, has since disappeared, and Sandy Springs Police hope someone will tip them off about where she is. She was last known to be driving a silver 2004 Toyota 4-Runner with a Georgia license tag, RAL9819. Police say that they believe that she has dyed her hair brown.

How terribly sad.

In another tragic case, something went terribly wrong between two friends in Minnesota.

Apparently, the girlfriend of Joseph C. Thoresen, 35, of Grand Rapids, Minn., told him that she had been raped in their own apartment by his friend, David A. Haiman, 20, of Hibbing.

I don’t know if these allegations were true or not, but if I had raped my friend’s girlfriend, I don’t think I would willingly go back to their apartment.

Remarkably, however, Mr. Haiman arrived at the couple’s apartment on June 21 or 22, according to the girlfriend. She confronted Mr. Haiman right there in front of Mr. Thoresen, and began punching and kicking him. Mr. Thoresen also punched Mr. Haiman and told him that he should not have raped “my girl.”

Then, inexplicably, the three left together in Mr. Haiman’s vehicle to smoke marijuana with some people, and then they smoked meth with another friend. Later they left to drive “around in the woods” in northern Minnesota for a while.

Soon they stopped, and Mr. Haiman and Mr. Thoresen got out and stood in front of the vehicle. Suddenly, Mr. Thoresen hit Mr. Haiman with a baseball bat and stabbed him in the back and abdomen.

Then the unthinkable happened. Mr. Thoresen took a machete, decapitated Mr. Haiman and threw his severed head in the woods.

The authorities later found Mr. Haiman’s body in one spot in the woods and his head dumped in another location.

The police caught up with Mr. Thoresen and arrested him. He was charged on June 28 in Itasca County District Court with the second-degree murder of his friend.

What a horrific crime!

Finally, in the early morning hours on June 30, Richard Milton Franks, 43, of Muncie, Ind., made a frantic call to 911. He claimed to have been in a “big struggle” with his girlfriend over a shotgun.

“I charged at her,” Mr. Franks told the dispatcher. “She pulled the trigger before I could get to her, and my mom’s dead!”

When Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found the 73-year-old victim’s body lying face down on the living room floor. She had been shot once in the head and had a cell phone in her hand.

Mr. Franks had already left the scene, but was arrested about an hour later during a traffic stop. At this point he told an officer that a “hooker” had killed his mother.

Later while being interrogated by sheriff’s investigators, Mr. Franks finally admitted that he had fired the fatal shot while arguing with his mother. He said that he had used meth in the hours before the shooting.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Franks said that “he retrieved the shotgun from his bedroom and loaded a shell” after his mother threatened to call a family member about his conduct. He then threatened his mother with the shotgun. Mr. Franks stated that when she continued to threaten to call someone, he shot her.

Mr. Franks was preliminarily charged with murder and was last being held without bond in the Delaware County jail.

A grandson, a mother and a friend are all dead now, and meth use can be linked to all three crimes. How many other lives has this insidious drug affected?

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

 

July 1, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

Methamphetamine is a drug used by people all around the world. And while men are two to three times more likely to use most other drugs, women are as likely to use meth as men are.

The reasons for this are not really clear.

Some claim that the energy levels that meth produces allow a woman to juggle family and a career, becoming “supermom.”

Others say that meth is so attractive to women because it helps them reduce unwanted weight. Maybe, but it comes at a stiff price as the drug begins to control more and more of the user’s life.

And then she tries injecting meth for the first time in an attempt to really boost her energy levels. She can handle it, right?

But then everything changes.

More than most other drugs, injected meth is so often associated with sex. Some claim that meth produces sexual desire and/or arousal and reduces inhibitions.

Some even claim than the euphoria associated with an injection of meth, when it is of sufficient purity and dosage, is very similar to sexual pleasure.

Scientists say that meth increases levels of the brain pleasure chemical called dopamine more than any other pleasurable activity. Other drugs also increase dopamine – that’s why people enjoy using them too. But methamphetamine increases dopamine three or four times more than even cocaine or morphine.

That may be because methamphetamine is a chemical not found in nature. Cocaine comes from the coca plant. Morphine comes from the opium poppy. Even marijuana grows like a weed.

Methamphetamine must be synthesized in a lab. It was first synthesized in 1893 by Japanese chemist, Nagayoshi Nagai.

And while the “high” from a related stimulant, cocaine, lasts for half an hour or so, the high from meth can last for 8 to 12 hours, depending on the user’s physiology and biochemistry.

The extended high that meth produces makes it possible for the user to stay awake for long periods of time. This property was exploited by the Japanese and German military during World War II as meth was provided to soldiers from both countries.

But like I said, this is also why many users begin smoking or eating meth. Then someone tells her that if she likes smoking meth, she should try injecting it. Her “friend” may even inject it for her.

And if the dose is right, she will experience an indescribable euphoria that, as I indicated above, is highly sexual in nature as dopamine floods the nervous system.

But it is never quite as good ever again. It can still be quite euphoric – for a while, but just not quite as good. So she continues to use meth, seeking that first high. We’ve all heard of “chasing the high.”

But it’s as though the drug is calling out to her – lying to her. Inside her head a little voice tells her that all she needs to do is to inject just a little bit more meth. Maybe she just needs to make the meth solution in the syringe a little thicker. Maybe if she can just find that dealer that sold her the “really good dope” that time…

But as with most things, too much of a good thing often becomes harmful. I think that God created us this way. Otherwise we would spend all of our time just doing that “good thing” over and over again. Come to think of it, that’s what some people do. But I digress.

The massive amounts of dopamine that meth releases in the brain begin to actually damage the very nerve cells that release the pleasure chemical. So over time, the user realizes that meth doesn’t make her feel as good as it used to. So she uses more and more of the drug, trying to find that euphoria she covets. But it’s to no avail. The more she uses, the more her dopamine cells are damaged.

Eventually she gets to the point that she feels like she has to slam (inject) meth just to feel normal – just to get out of bed.

Many people have told me that meth is evil or of the devil. They get to the point where they will do anything – absolutely anything – for another hit. And they blame it all on the meth.

And since the euphoria is so sexual, women (and men) often resort to sex to get meth.

Maybe that is why I have seen so many cases where men in their thirties, forties or even fifties are caught with underage teenage girls. It literally boggles the mind.

Perhaps some of the allure is due to the sexual effects of meth. But the effects on dopamine, especially in the frontal part (cortex) of the brain, short circuit the ability of the user to make rational decisions, so she does things that she otherwise would never even consider doing.

I am going to just list a few recent cases below to illustrate the points I made in this week’s column. But if you search my website, or the Internet, or the records of any sheriff’s office, you will find many, many more cases just like these.

On June 20, 2016, Kenneth Wayne Jones, 41, from Roundup, Mont., was arraigned in Yellowstone County Justice Court on felony sex crime charges.

Mr. Jones was accused of repeatedly raping a 16-year-old girl over the course of two years, starting when she was only 14.

The girl told authorities that the sexual abuse started when Mr. Jones began using meth. My assumption is that he probably encouraged the teenage girl to use meth too.

On Friday, June 17, Brandon Scott Thomas, a.k.a. “Gambino,” age 25, of Roanoke, Va., pled guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute at least 50 grams of meth, two counts of sex trafficking by fraud, force or coercion, one count of conspiring to commit sex trafficking by fraud, force or coercion, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Mr. Thomas admitted that he ran a prostitution business involving several women out of hotels in Roanoke and Charlottesville.

In a press release, US Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said, “These women were trapped by addiction and the violent nature of a man who preyed upon their vulnerabilities.”

“Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes we investigate,” said Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ Washington, D.C. field office. “In this case, Thomas sold women just like he sold drugs.”

Mr. Thomas used the women’s addiction to and desire for meth to force them into sexual slavery for his own profit.

Finally, in a case out of New Orleans on June 15, Justin Wiley, 28, was booked into the Orleans Parish jail on a charge of first-degree rape.

In a four-month period, two women separately reported to New Orleans police that they were raped by a meth dealer they met at Louis Armstrong Park – a man who they identified as appearing in a Facebook profile under the name “Swinga Justtohard.”

The picture in the Facebook profile was none other than Mr. Wiley.

Once again, the allure of the sexual euphoria produced by meth led to the rape and abuse of multiple women in New Orleans. Who knows how many other women were raped by this man, but were too ashamed to come forward?

Maybe meth really is of the devil.

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

June 24, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

I know that I have said several times in this Meth in the News column that methamphetamine is a world-wide problem of epidemic proportions. One of the countries where meth is especially problematic is Australia.

Back in February of 2016, I reported that one of the largest shipments ever seized in Australia occurred when the Australian federal police, the New South Wales police, the Australian Border Force and the Australian Crime Commission discovered 720 liters of liquid meth hidden in bra inserts and art supplies that were being imported from Hong Kong.

Four people from Hong Kong were arrested in the case. The value of the drug was placed at $1B in Australian currency, which is $742.5M US dollars by today’s exchange rate.

Well, there has been another huge seizure of meth down under.

This time, the meth was discovered approximately 2,500 miles southeast of Australia, in New Zealand.

Earlier last week, on June 14, it was reported that police in Northland had recovered a whopping 494 kg (that’s 1,089 pounds or half a ton!) of meth.

The story all started when Northland Police found a boat abandoned on the Ninety Mile Beach on Sunday, June 12.

Ninety Mile Beach is on the western coast of the far north of the North Island of New Zealand and is renowned for spectacular sunsets and “one of the best left hand surf breaks” in the world.

Police found a number of bags containing meth on the abandoned boat. They also learned from people in the area that there were two men, one driving a Toyota Prado and the other a rental campervan, who were seen nearby acting suspiciously and offering large amounts of cash to locals for assistance in launching boats off the beach.

Police were planning to search for the two vehicles in question, but as luck would have it, the Toyota just happened to drive past while they were still securing the abandoned boat.

The police initiated pursuit and quickly caught up with the Toyota. After questioning the driver, they soon found the campervan as well. More meth was discovered in the campervan.

A 31-year-old man and a 26-year-old man from Auckland were arrested and taken back to the Kaitaia Police Station.

After questioning the men, police discovered another abandoned boat containing meth. They soon found even more meth that the men had buried in the sands along Ninety Mile Beach.

Northland Police District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou told reporters, “This is without a doubt, the largest ever seizure of methamphetamine in New Zealand, and what is so great about this is that it’s not only the result of hard work by the Northland Police, but it’s the result of information we got from the community.”

Estimates for the value of the meth is $448M New Zealand (that’s $316M US dollars).

In news closer to home, how many times have I warned the readers of this column about the dangers associated with the remnants of meth labs that are sometimes discarded along a roadside, in the woods or wherever?

Faith, NC, is a small little town of 807 souls located Rowan County.

On June 6, 6-year-old Stephen Pueschel found a backpack abandoned in his backyard. When he picked up the backpack, his face and chest began to sting. The little boy thought that he had been stung by bees.

The boy ran screaming to his father, Chris Pueschel, who could not understand how his son became injured.

Then he saw a container that had fallen out of the backpack when little Stephen picked it up. He also noticed that the grass was burned in the area where the backpack and container landed. So he called the Sheriff’s Office

Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators determined that the backpack contained precursor materials used in one-pot meth labs.

Stephen spent time in the hospital where he was treated for burns to his eyes and face that had been caused by sulphuric acid from the backpack, but he has since returned home.

Stephen’s parents are angry that someone would leave something so dangerous in their own back yard. To tell you the truth, so am I.

And it just so happens that I know about at least one person who would do such a thing!

On June 16 in Meadville, PA, Shawn Paul Powell, 43, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Sam Pendolino on charges of a second degree felony count of operating a meth lab, a felony count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a third degree count of depositing, storing or disposing of chemical waste, a felony count of possession of red phosphorous with intent to manufacture controlled substances, a third degree felony count of risking a catastrophe and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Whew!

You see, Mr. Powell was seen throwing a bottle from a red Saturn Vue into a yard on Lord Street on May 28. He then got of the car, picked up the bottle, returned to the car and threw it out a second time.

Why?

When Mr. Powell threw the bottle the second time, it caught on fire. That’s when multiple witnesses called 911.

Meadville Central Fire Department personnel recognized the bottle was a meth laboratory, and the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab was contacted to secure the site and collect evidence.

Mr. Powell will have the opportunity to explain his actions on July 22.

And keeping things in the spirit of meth labs and fires, Edward Hill, 21, was spotted screaming and throwing burning items out of a second-floor window on Main Street in Concord, NH on June 16.

When Concord police arrived on the scene, they found a female sitting in a car out front. When police searched the car, they found sodium hydroxide, a professional-strength drain cleaner, pseudoephedrine tablets, Coleman fuel, and Nalgene bottles in the trunk.

The female said that Mr. Hill removed the items from his apartment and told her to hide them in the trunk.

Concord police Lt. Tim O’Malley told reporters that the responding officers noticed that all of the items in the trunk were “precursor chemicals” for cooking meth. “They kind of put that together pretty quick,” he said. “We notified the state police, who have a representative on the clandestine laboratory team. He came down, did a cursory check and determined the full team needed to be mobilized.”

A neighbor who saw the smoke billowing from the apartment window told the authorities that he broke into the apartment in an effort to save anyone who might be inside. He found “several small plastic items burning and melting” that he assumed were drug paraphernalia, according to a press release issued by Lt. O’Malley on June 19.

Mr. Hill was arrested and charged with two felonies for the manufacturing of meth and possession of Suboxone. He was also charged on a Concord warrant for receiving stolen jewelry.

What a week!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

June 17, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

When I started to write this Meth in the News column this week, I thought that I would once again explain why I ask for people who are using methamphetamine now – or have ever used meth – to contact me.

But I also thought that everyone knows why by now.

Then I heard something on a local radio station. They said that not everyone hears every segment that they do. They were discussing an exciting story about 9-11 in relation to the Ark-La-Tex that even I remembered hearing more than once. But they said that there were still some regular listeners who had never heard the segment.

I took that as a sign that this was a good time to tell you why I seek the input of current and former meth users.

You may also notice that I specifically ask for female users to contact me.

First, let me assure that I want to help everyone struggling with meth, men as well as women. If you want to share your story with me, I will not discriminate. I will be more than happy to listen.

But there are several reasons why I ask to hear from women.

Historically, at least until relatively recently, medical and scientific research focused on males only, unless it was research on a female-specific disease such as endometriosis. There were a variety of reasons for this, but the result was that many diseases were not studied in women for many years.

The same holds true for methamphetamine. Yes, this is starting to change now, but if you really dig into the medical and scientific research on meth, you will soon discover that the vast majority of this research has been conducted in men.

One very significant line of research is meth use in men who have sex with men (that is how the research is described in the medical and scientific literature). This research has been conducted because meth is often associated with sex. Meth tends to increase sexual arousal while decreasing inhibitions. Therefore, safe sex is often not practiced.

Doctors and scientists soon realized that the rate of HIV/AIDS was higher in men who have sex with men and who also use meth. Some research even suggested that meth makes it easier to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

So there has been a lot of research focusing on the effects of meth in men compared to research on its effects in women. But there are other reasons why I ask to hear from women.

In my opinion, drug addiction, whether it is meth or even another drug, is especially difficult for women.

We are all aware that a woman can become pregnant, whether intentional or not. And when she becomes a mother, she also becomes responsible for her child. In an ideal world, the father would share in the care of the child that he shares with the mother.

But we also know the reality. In far too many cases, the mother becomes the primary caregiver for her baby. What if this mother is also struggling with meth or other drugs? Who is going to take care of her baby if mom is on a three-day meth binge?

Who makes sure that her baby is fed? Who gives her a bath? When she is older, who helps her with her homework and gets her ready for school? Too often the child depends solely on her mother.

So I do this, in part, for the children.

Meth is often used as a means to survive. A mother can take care of her children and work a full-time job and become “supermom” if she can just find the energy. Many people unwittingly fall into the clutches of meth because they initially turned to this insidious chemical as an energy boost.

Methamphetamine also produces intense pleasure. This makes meth dangerous to women and men alike. It involves the neurotransmitter (the brain chemical) called dopamine. Dopamine is released in the brain in response to all pleasant and enjoyable activities.

Good food increases dopamine. Sex increases dopamine. Nicotine and alcohol also increase dopamine.

However, meth increases dopamine 10 times more than food or sex, and three to five times more than other drugs such as morphine or even cocaine.

But like most things, too much of a good thing can have unexpected consequences. Sometimes I think that God planned it that way.

So while at first meth can produce intense pleasure that is often sexual in nature, continued meth use can be detrimental to the dopamine system. The meth user begins to “need” more and more meth to get the pleasure she is seeking.

Eventually dopamine becomes depleted in the brain, and she needs to use meth just to feel “normal” again. The intense pleasure has vanished – and she becomes trapped.

If a man “introduces” (that’s a word often used) a woman to meth, sometimes he can gain control over her. Men are typically bigger and physically stronger than women to begin with, and if a man is the source for meth, women will often do anything to get more meth.

I have talked to men as well as women. I have often heard of instances where a man was able to convince women to do literally anything that he wished or demanded – all for just another shot of meth. They’ve shared their stories with me – this happens more than you realize.

I have heard of so many cases where women ended up as prostitutes or in other forms of sex trafficking after becoming addicted to meth.

Sex trafficking is a real and growing problem in the United States – even here in the Ark-La-Tex – and meth is often a contributing factor.

I have also heard, primarily from women, about how slamming meth (injecting it into a vein) is different from smoking or snorting the drug. That is why I specifically ask for women with experience slamming meth to contact me.

In fact, this week (ending June 17, 2016), I am presenting some of what I have learned at an international scientific conference focused on drug and alcohol addiction.

I am curious to find out if others have learned what I have. My guess is that they have not because most people in this business do not take the time to actually listen to the people that they are trying to help.

I have asked some of the women I have talked to if they had ever discussed many of the things that we talked about with their counselors. They almost always say no.

When I ask why not, they tell me that they were never asked.

In my opinion, that’s just tragic. I want to make a difference and change things. Women matter to me – people matter to me! And like I always say, if I can just help one person, then it has all been worth it.

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

June 10, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

As regular readers of this Meth in the News column know, I have devoted significant time and energy spreading the word about the dangers of methamphetamine. And you also probably know that there are certain groups of people who pretend that the so-called “meth epidemic” is just hyperbole, a collection of exaggerated statements meant to instill unnecessary fear about a drug that is no worse than a common medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

I disagree. But you already knew that.

In support of my viewpoint, I came across a couple of reports this past weekend that highlight that meth is not only a problem for the United States, it is a world-wide problem.

On Saturday, June 4, 2016, it was reported that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force intercepted and searched two sea cargo containers in Sydney that allegedly contained 11 diesel generators with 130 kg (286.6 pounds) of meth hidden inside.

The meth had an estimated street value of $80 million (more than $73 million US).

After further investigation, the AFP arrested a 60-year-old dual Nigerian and American national, a 45-year-old dual Nigerian and Mexican national and a 48-year-old dual Australian and Nigerian national and charged each with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and one count of attempting to possess.

AFP Commander Chris Sheehan told reporters, “This is a case of Mexican organized crime co-operating with West African organized crime in a global syndicate, supplying large quantities, commercial scale quantities of methamphetamine into the Australian community.”

Additional arrests in Australia and elsewhere are anticipated.

And last Friday, June 3, Scott Stammers, 47, was sentenced in New York by U.S. Federal Judge Andrew Carter to 181 months in prison, after which he will be deported.

Mr. Stammers is a citizen of Great Britain who was born in Hong Kong. He was sentenced after he had pleaded guilty to the charges.

Mr. Stammers’ crime? He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in an international conspiracy to import 220 pounds of North Korean meth into the U.S.

That’s right – meth manufactured in none other than North Korea.

Even if the meth had been successfully smuggled into the U.S., would you really trust anything made in Kim Jong-un’s reclusive and repressive country? Would you actually inject it into your body?

But this operation was bigger than just North Korea.

According to prosecutors in the case, Mr. Stammers was part of a world-wide gang that included Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. This group claimed to hold a monopoly on North Korean meth.

The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, issued a statement, “Thanks to the work of the DEA and the cooperation of law enforcement partners around the world, including in Thailand, Liberia and Romania, Stammers’s scheme ended, not with the North Korean methamphetamine flooding American streets as he had intended, but rather with a guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court.”

Clearly the methamphetamine trade is not just a problem for the United States – it is a world-wide phenomenon involving international crime syndicates.

And it also appears to be a more significant problem for particular cultures.

Case in point. According to the National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI), Native peoples have the highest rate of meth use of any ethnicity in the U.S.

Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln Jr., is the Captain of the Rosebud Police Department in South Dakota. According to their official website, the Rosebud Indian Reservation is the home of the federally recognized Sicangu Oyate – also known as Sicangu Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a branch of the Lakota people.

In a report published online on May 31 in Indian Country, Captain Waln said, “At least 60 percent of the population on the Rosebud reservation uses meth.”

Can you imagine – 60 percent? That’s an unbelievably high percentage!

Captain Waln also reported that in 2014, the Rosebud Corrections facility housed 11,880 inmates. In 2015, it housed 45,237 inmates. In 2015, 30 percent of those inmates were incarcerated for meth-related crimes.

The NCAI agrees with Captain Waln. They state that 40 percent of all crime in Indian country is directly related to meth.

Melissa Eagle Bear is the Facilities Administrator for the Rosebud Corrections Facility. She actually believes that the percentage of meth-related crimes could be much higher. She says that while the most common offense for men incarcerated at the jail is domestic violence, it soon becomes clear that they also have a problem with meth.

However, even though the Rosebud Sioux Tribe opened the first meth-specific treatment facility in Indian country as part of a five-year pilot project in 2010, the meth “tsunami” – as they call it there – remains unabated.

“Right now, the meth situation is out of control,” Captain Waln says. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough resources to put everyone in treatment who needs it.”

In other stories, Shannon and Kaleb Mickley, of Gypsum, Colo., were sentenced to 4 years of probation last week for activities that occurred back in May of 2015.

You see, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office was called after gunshots were heard in the Mickley’s home. The husband and wife told the deputies that they had fired two shotgun rounds into their basement at the “intruders” who were coming after them.

There was no one there. The Mickleys were the victims of the “shadow people” – hallucinations of imaginary people brought on by the chronic use of methamphetamine.

The couple’s three children were in the home at the time of the incident but were unharmed. However, they were removed from their parents’ care by the Department of Human Services as a result.

In Henderson, Ky., a 63-year-old woman also shot her firearm inside her apartment while high on meth. Seems to be a trend this week.

Angela Shelton was upset about being evicted and shot her gun at a wall in her apartment back on June 2. She narrowly missed hitting a child next door, but did manage to hit a $7,700 fish tank.

Ms. Shelton claims that she thought the gun was unloaded because she pulled the trigger three times before it fired.

Three times! That’s truly frightening!

But she does not have to worry about where she will stay – at least for the near future. At last report, she was being held at the Henderson County Detention Center and was facing several charges.

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

 

June 3, 2016

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

There are so many reasons not to use methamphetamine. The drug is highly addictive – some people will literally do anything to get and use meth. It’s illegal to possess. It’s toxic and dangerous to make. And most of the meth in the United States today comes from Mexico.

Here is one more reason.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told a Senate Homeland Security Committee panel that “transnational gangs” – indicating the Mexican drug cartels – may also be “unwittingly” smuggling terrorists into the United States.

The Chair of the committee, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson, agreed that the potential for terrorists to enter the southern border poses the greatest danger of any point-of-entry to the country.

Mr. Mayorkas assured members of the committee that Homeland Security is “very focused on that (possibility).”

But wouldn’t we be safer if the Mexican drug cartels were put out of business due to a lack of interest.

I hear you, but I can dream, can’t I?

On May 26 at around 9:30 p.m., people on Anderson Road in Walterboro, SC, received an unexpected treat. On second thought, maybe not.

Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a burglary alarm at the Meter of America where they encountered a naked man pushing the buttons on the building’s alarm pad.

The deputies placed the man, identified as Christopher Blake Jones, 32, of Summerville, in custody in the rear of a police cruiser and searched the surrounding area. They found a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser parked in the back parking lot.

Mr. Jones cautioned the deputies to stay away because he had anthrax in the car. He also informed them at this time that he was, in fact, God. He said that he was on a mission and had to get inside the building to complete his mission.

When the PT Cruiser was searched, a one-pot meth lab was discovered, along with Mr. Jones’ clothes and car keys. A syringe loaded with meth was also found.

Mr. Jones was transported to the Emergency Department of Colleton Medical Center for a physician’s examination and later transferred to the Colleton County Detention Center.

It turns out that he was not God after all.

This next story is more of a cautionary tale than anything else.

Don’t try to “cook” your own meth using the one-pot method so popular these days. But if you must, please, oh please don’t use a glass jar!

Case in point. On May 25, police in Russellville, KY, were called to a convenience store on East 4th Street because there was a man there who appeared to require medical assistance.

When they arrived on the scene, police found Steven Mead, 36, who had several deep lacerations throughout his upper torso. He explained that he received his injuries when he fell through a glass door.

Central Kentucky Drug Task Force Director Jacky Hunt thought otherwise.

“Upon arrival he had a blood trail leading from a house,” Director Hunt told reporters. “(Police) followed the blood trail back to the house.”

When they reached the house, Mr. Mead’s girlfriend, Clarrisa Porterfield, gave police permission to search the house. When they found a substance that they suspected was meth residue in a sink, she quickly revoked her consent.

Once a search warrant was issued, police discovered what actually happened.

“He had a one-step (meth) cook going in the kitchen and it blew up,” Director Hunt said.

Apparently Ms. Porterfield tried to clean everything up and destroy any evidence while Mr. Mead walked to the store. However, police still found items commonly used to manufacture meth in the home, including pseudoephedrine blister packs, stripped out lithium batteries and lye.

“We’ve worked countless cases where guys have burnt themselves up,” Director Hunt explained to reporters. “Some of these old guys have burn scars on them. It’s extremely dangerous and extremely volatile. They are putting (ingredients) in a vessel and waiting for them to react and they can explode.”

Mr. Mead was not only burned, he was also severely cut. He was taken to Logan Memorial Hospital and later transferred to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville where he was listed in fair condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Anna-Lee Cockril.

Once again, NEVER use a glass jar to “cook” your meth! Believe me, I’ve seen much worse cases than this one!

You know, sometimes older people can become confused. We’ve all had an older relative who forgot where they were or what they were doing at one time or another.

But you’re not going to believe this next story.

On April 9, Louis Fueque Kent, 73, from Electra, TX, pulled into the commercial lane of First Bank on Midwestern Parkway in nearby Wichita Falls.

Mr. Kent proceeded to send some checks, a loan payment with some cash and a piece of paper through the deposit tube.

Much to her surprise, when the teller opened up the piece of paper, a blue plastic baggie containing a white “crystal-like” substance fell out. The baggie was held for Wichita County Sheriff’s deputies to arrive on scene. They field tested the substance, which of course turned out to be meth.

At last report, Mr. Kent was being held in the Wichita County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Moral of the story. Don’t send grandpa to the bank when he is high!

Finally, you’ll never guess what happened in the Hooters parking lot in Ontario, Calif., back on May 23.

Agents with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) and the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA IMPACT) arrested five men after they tried to sell 53 pounds of meth to undercover officers right there in the Hooters parking lot on North Milliken Avenue!

53 pounds of meth – that’s worth approximately $2.6 million, you realize.

The five suspects were booked into the San Bernardino West County Detention Center pending the filing of charges for the transportation and sales of meth, possession of meth for sales and conspiracy.

The investigators in the case believe that the men were all affiliated with the Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel based out of Mexico, with drug distribution cells in Southern California.

So they cost the Sinaloa Cartel around $2.6 million. I have a feeling that jail is the least of their worries now!

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

For more examples of Meth in the News, go to Methamphetamine in the News: http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/

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