“She was quite rebellious,” Sarah* smiles as she recalls her then, teenage daughter.

“She had a mind of her own, into music, dark clothes, we knew she was going to be different when she got older.”

By the age of 21, Amy had become a full blown ice addict, living with a dealer in Melbourne.


Sarah, who was quietly watching her daughter’s erratic behaviour grow, said she had never heard of crystal methamphetamine.

“I didn’t know that ice and crystal meth and all the other names it had were one drug and there were different ways to smoke it.

“I’d never smoked drugs ever and no one in my family had.

“I was pretty naive.”

When in the grip of the drug, Amy would answer her mother’s calls, telling her she’d been up cleaning all night and working hard, always quick to get off the line.

But one morning, Amy spoke to her mother for two hours and confessed.

“She ended up saying to me, ‘I have to tell you the truth, I’ve been doing drugs’.

“I thought it was just something pretty low-key, then she said, ‘no I’ve been taking ice and I need to come home, tell the rest of the family and I need help.”

Sarah was reasonably positive about Amy’s disclosure, thinking giving up the drug would just be as simple as giving up smoking.

But the day after returning home and telling her family, Amy took off back to Melbourne, leaving many questions still unanswered.

Sarah tried to call her daughter, but on the rare times Amy would pick up, she would struggle to get any sense out of her.

“I was still naive – still not knowing how deep she was into it.

“I knew her partner at the time was using it, but it took a little while for us to realise there was a reason she wasn’t making contact.”

Two months later, Amy came home only to flee back to Melbourne again, her appearance causing increasing awareness with her family that something was seriously wrong with her.

“She looked shocking,” Sarah said bluntly.

“She had scabs all over her face…her arms, she was scratching all the time.

“She was very thin, no fat, no muscle, just skin and bone.

“Her hair was dry and lank and dirty looking, she had big black circles under her eyes.”

Paranoid from her constant drug use, Amy told her family she had hidden her mobile phone because she thought there were people going through her messages.

After her daughter again fled back to Melbourne, Sarah described the following six week period as one of the worst times of her life.

“I felt like I was in the middle of a bad movie… I had no idea whether she was alive or dead.”

Amy no longer answered her phone and her mother had to ask a friend of hers for her daughter’s address.

She rang police and begged them to find her, but they said their hands were tied and they could not help her.

Sarah hoped police would arrest her daughter, as she believed she would be safer in custody.

“I thought it was better that she was arrested and go to jail than die from taking the drugs.”

Sarah spent those six weeks in a depressed state and constantly in tears, feeling the burden on her shoulders.

“I had no idea what to do – I was totally lost.”

Amy had moved in with an ice dealer, abandoning her old flat, leaving her mother to have to travel to Melbourne to clean it out and pick up her daughter’s possessions.

“I cried the whole weekend, the way over, the way home.

“I felt like I was packing up her life and saying good bye…like she had died and I was never going to see her again.”

At this point, she began grieving for her lost daughter.

“Not because she had died but because I expected her to die.

“I’d seen what she was like, her behaviour, she wasn’t healthy, she was aggressive.

“I didn’t think she’d get back to being the person she was before.”

“We were hiding all sorts of things.”


“It was September when we got her out for the last time,” recalls Sarah.

Travelling to Melbourne to pick up her daughter, Sarah searched high and low for a detox centre that would take her, or that the family could afford.

“We found one place in Melbourne that could get her in straight away but wanted a deposit of $6,000. We just couldn’t afford that.”

Amy had seen two counsellors in the South East but could not get further treatment locally.

Eventually finding a place at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital that would take her in a week’s time, Sarah said her daughter was at this point determined to give up her toxic lifestyle.

But the family watched her closely, hiding anything that could enable a return to Melbourne.

Sarah slept with Amy’s phone under her pillow, so she couldn’t get it to ring her former partner.

“We were hiding all sorts of things – money and the car keys so she couldn’t take off.”

Amy was supposed to remain at the detox facility for weeks, but counsellors said she was ready to go after just a few days of intensive group and one-on-one therapy.

Returning home to Mount Gambier, Amy made plans to move to a small town in country Victoria.

“She wanted to start again, get clean, get work and build a life with new friends who weren’t going to get her into trouble.”

Years passed and Sarah said she saw a huge change in her daughter, particularly when she fell pregnant to her new partner.

“She just started to glow, she was happier than I’d seen her for a long time.

Amy was doing all the right things while pregnant, said Sarah, eating well and stopping smoking.

“She was very clucky – it was beautiful.”

When Amy’s daughter was born, Amy devoted her life to her baby girl, and seemed content with her new life.

Each year, Sarah sent a text message to Amy – on the anniversary of the day she got clean.

“I always remembered the anniversary when she got out of Melbourne.

“It was a big deal to me that she had come clean and I always wanted to remind her because it was about her birthday.”

Sarah didn’t know one year after sending her message of support, that Amy had smoked ice two days before. Sarah didn’t learn the truth for another year.

Amy’s behaviour began to become erratic again, her visits home rare.

When she did come home to Mount Gambier, her parents saw that Amy was losing weight.

Sarah said she didn’t want to believe the obvious.

“Probably the first six months afterwards, we were double checking everything that she told us.

“It just seemed too easy that she’d come clean cold turkey.”

Sarah had made up her mind to question her daughter about her strange behaviour when she went to visit her one day.

Amy confessed to her mother that she was smoking crystal methamphetamine again on a regular basis.

“I was sad… betrayed that she was doing that, lying again.

“This time I didn’t think she was in it as deep as before.

“I thought it was just an occasional smoke.”

“Disappointed, disgusted, angry.”


One day Amy called her mother saying said she had to leave town because the police had raided her house looking for stolen goods and her partner was involved in criminal activity.

Sarah took Amy home and found out the true extent of Amy’s drug use, including the news that her partner had been dealing.

“When I found out I was really disappointed, disgusted and angry that she would do that when she had a little girl in the house.

“That she would go back to taking drugs when she knew how it affected her life before.”

Sarah threatened to take her granddaughter away.

“I said to her, ‘if you don’t get clean, I will go to the courts and take her off you, because you don’t deserve her’.”

“We’re starting to trust each other again.”


Amy has now been clean for six months but Sarah said she is aware her daughter will forever be in danger of returning to her previous life.

“She’s a drug addict and she knows she’s a drug addict.

“She just has to take it day-by-day.”

As time continues, their relationship is healing and growing.

“We’re starting to trust each other again.

“I think she knows now that she can come to me with anything, she really can’t shock me anymore.

“I want her to be happy and healthy and I want her little girl to have a happy life.

“I try not to preach to her, but to see her blossoming now is the best thing in my life.”

Sarah hopes the counselling course Amy has been accepted into will teach her how to deal with the stresses of daily life, something that her daughter had struggled with before.

Sarah says she now understands the motivators behind her daughter’s addiction.

“Sometimes she has things going on in her life which just get the better of her and she goes back to the drugs.

“That’s how she handles stress and tension.

“We’ll be watching, we’ll be aware of it this time, if it ever happens again.

“There’s nothing she could do to make me push her away.

“I love her too much, I would hate to see it happen but I would stand by.


*Names have been changed to protect identities.










Myrtle Beach Police busted a meth lab Tuesday night at the Hurl Rock Hotel located along the 2000 block of South Ocean Blvd.

Captain David Knipes with Myrtle Beach police confirms three arrests were made and 89 grams of meth were seized.

Further details are not available at this time.







NEW PHILADELPHIA  – A 30-year-old resident of a New Philadelphia apartment complex where two 2-liter pop-bottle methamphetamine labs were dismantled Tuesday has been charged.

Police charged Ashley M. Bates of 233 Fourth Drive NW, Apt. 2, on Wednesday with one count of illegal manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony.

Ashley M. Bates of

Bates is being held in the Tuscarawas County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond established by Judge Nanette DeGarmo VonAllman during Bates’ video appearance in Municipal Court.

VonAllman appointed attorney Vernon Infantino of Canton to represent Bates. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Municipal Court at 11:15 a.m. July 3.

The charge filed Wednesday states that Bates on or about Tuesday “did knowingly manufacture or otherwise engage in any part of the production of a controlled substance, and the drug involved in the violation was methamphetamine.”

Bates was arrested Tuesday after a search warrant was executed at the residence. Police found the two meth labs after receiving a telephone call from an anonymous person who reported the odor of meth being cooked at the apartment.

Police contacted the Holmes County Meth Lab Containment Team, which dismantled the two meth labs Tuesday afternoon. One was in the apartment and the other was in a bag along with trash in front of the apartment complex.

Sgt. Tim Stryker of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, who also is a member of the Meth Lab Containment Team, said hydrogen chloride generators were found in bags along with the meth lab bottles.

Stryker said both meth labs were used and were “meth trash, the aftermath.” And, although they weren’t smoking, both still were very dangerous, he noted.






Police were called for assistance to a routine traffic stop that turned into a drug arrest.

Thirty-four-year-old Jade Wondercheck is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic equipment, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


After being pulled over with two other females, Wondercheck placed her purse on the sidewalk. She asked an officer if she could get her cigarettes out so she could smoke.

The officer asked Wondercheck if he could check her purse before she grabbed the cigarettes, and she agreed. The officer then found a clear glass pipe with a white substance which tested positive for methamphetamine.

A purple marijuana grinder was also located in her purse.

She was placed in handcuffs and transported to the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.









TOWN OF VIRGILA Town of Virgil woman is arrested and charged after a meth lab is found.


The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department received information on a possible meth lab on 2526 Route 11 in the Town of Virgil. During the investigation, evidence of a meth lab was found and an environmental clean up agency was called to clean up the hazardous material at the scene.

The resident, 28-year-old Ashley M. Huss, was arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine in the third degree and Unlawful disposal of Methamphetamine laboratory material.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are possible.

Ashley was arraigned in the Town of Virgil Court and sent to jail on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. She is due back in court July 1st.








A woman whom officers initially contacted as a suspicious person was arrested after they found methamphetamine and evidence that she was dealing the substance in her vehicle, Alameda police said.

Along with methamphetamine, the 47-year-old woman, who was arrested about 12:45 a.m. June 21 in the 2100 block of Shoreline Drive, had more than $800 in cash, a digital scale and plastic bags, according to police.

A man, also 47, who was with the woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana, police said.









A Perris councilman was arrested Tuesday after he called police to report a theft but appeared to authorities to be under the influence of drugs.

Julio Rodriguez, 28, called officers about 7:30 a.m. to investigate a theft at a hotel in the 500 block of Redlands Boulevard, according to the Perris Police Department.


As officers investigated the theft, they noticed Rodriguez appeared to be under the influence of drugs, so they arrested him. Officers then searched his hotel room, where they found drug paraphernalia and a small amount of methamphetamine, police said.

Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, as well as possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to the Police Department.

Rodriguez was elected to the Perris City Council in 2012. His term expires November 2016.

His bail was set at $5,000.

Police said they still plan to investigate the reported theft.







A man was arrested Saturday after a deputy with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office discovered he was transporting a large amount of methamphetamine in his truck.

At 4:15 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Bugg with the Crime Suppression Unit stopped a Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck around the 2500-block of East Highway 34 for an illegal window tint violation, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the sheriff’s office. Bugg identified the driver as William Mark Vining, 44, and Vining gave Bugg consent to search both himself and his vehicle.

Bugg first searched Vining, and in Vining’s front right pocket he found a clear plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance suspected to be methamphetamine, Yarbrough said. Bugg then searched the vehicle, and inside a toolbox he found a black plastic bag that contained a bag of Takis snack food.

According to Yarbrough, whatever was inside the Takis bag did not feel like chips to Bugg, so he opened it and found a large plastic zip bag containing many more suspected methamphetamine crystals. The bag was weighed at 535.9 grams, or 1.181 pounds – according to Georgia Law, any amount of methamphetamine more than 28 grams is considered trafficking, and any amount more than 400 grams carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

Vining was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and a window tint violation, and he was transported to the Coweta County Jail.










A woman led Des Moines police on a high speed chase early Tuesday morning before jumping out of the stolen car and fleeing on foot, officials said.

Officers spotted a black GMC Envoy with no license plates traveling in the 3500 block of an alley near Oxford Street around 1 a.m. and tried to stop the vehicle, according to Des Moines police reports.


The driver, later identified as Alexandra Venus Lene Gealow, 22, continued to drive slowly down the alley, despite several attempts to stop her by officers to activating their sirens, police said.

Once the SUV got to Oxford Street, it accelerated and went south, running a stop sign at Oxford Street and Hull Avenue, authorities said. Gealow continued south on Second Avenue, then east on Interstate Highway 235, police said.

She took the exit for East University Avenue and continued down that street until she turned north on East 32nd Street, officials said.

Speeds during the chase exceeded 100 miles per hour, police said.

In the 1200 block of East 32nd Street, the SUV was boxed in by squad cars and a parked vehicle. The SUV rolled as Gealow jumped out of the passenger side and fled on foot, authorities said.

She was caught and arrested a few houses away, police said.

Officers found out the vehicle was stolen and asked Gealow if she knew that.

Police said Gealow responded, “When you pay for a vehicle with meth, you don’t ask questions,” according to the police report.

Officers also found 55 pills of Diazepam and a small bottle of clear liquid Gealow said was morphine.

Gealow was charged with eluding, interference with official acts, second-degree theft, possession of Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs, failure to affix a drug tax stamp, driving without a valud license, failing to have a license plate and failing to obey traffic control devices.

She remains in the Polk County Jail on a $21,964 bond.








The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a motorcyclist who seemed to have misplaced a bag full of meth on Amity Road.

Two motorist reported to police that on Friday morning they saw a motorcyclist who was driving a “sport” bike going about 80 mph on Amity Road between Eagle and Locust Grove on Friday, June 20th.


According to witnesses, a bag fell from the motorcycle and landed on the road. When a motorist went to retrieve the bag, they found a bag of white powder containing 72.5 grams of methamphetamine.

The motorists didn’t get a good look at the driver because he was going so fast.

Anyone with information should call Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.








TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Scattered across Tippecanoe County are 128 blue dots. Each of those dots represents a home where meth was once cooking.

“It’s becoming a bigger problem, people moving into houses that have had meth labs in them and are contaminated,” said Indiana State Police Trooper Wesley Ennis.

Thanks to a new Indiana state website, that information is now available with the click of a mouse.


Ennis said meth suppression teams from across the Hoosier state helped compile the statistics over the last several years.

“We’re trying to educate people on what they’re moving into, whether it’s a rental property or a whether it’s a house they’re looking to buy,” said Ennis.

Broker and real estate owner Cathy Russell agrees with state police, it’s something residents deserve to know. However, she said trying to resell those homes may be difficult.

“I do think it will affect the value of the property from a standpoint of stigma,” said Russell. “Also, you’re going to have a lot of extra inspections because people are going to want to know what was done to mitigate the problem.”

If you don’t plan on moving into a new home anytime soon, Russell said you’re still not in the clear. Even living in the same neighborhood could be impacting your property value.

“If you see a cluster of three houses in one general area, it’s definitely going to make you say — going to make somebody say — that side of town is dangerous, or whatever,” said Russell.

She said real estate agents are now required to inform buyers if the home they’re interested in once housed a meth lab. However, Ennis said only meth labs reported to state police are included in the statistics, which means many more are still left unreported.

“Unfortunately, we don’t find all the meth labs out there,” said Ennis. “If we could, we would.”

Ennis suggests hiring a professional to come inspect the home you’re interested in buying for possible meth residue.

To view the map and statistics of homes with former meth labs, click here.

Ennis said once a home is professionally cleaned for meth residue, it will be removed from the website.










PORTAGE, MI – Police and firefighters found a suspected methamphetamine lab late Tuesday at the scene of a fire that investigators say was sparked by a 50-year-old Portage man who was trying to make homemade fireworks in his house.

The meth lab was found as firefighters were working to put out the blaze in the 2200 block of Fairfield Road, Portage Public Safety Lt. John Blue said.

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Firefighters responded to the house just before 10:20 p.m. after receiving reports that there had been a large explosion and fire and a man had been burned.

At the scene, investigators learned the man, whose name has not been released, was trying to use raw explosives to make fireworks in his kitchen when the explosion occurred, authorities said.


The explosion caused windows of the home to be blown out and a garage also was damaged.

The man suffered burns in the incident, although the extent of his injuries was not known Wednesday morning, the lieutenant said.


Blue said investigators believe the fire and explosion was caused by the homemade fireworks and investigators are working to figure out what materials the man was using to make the fireworks.

Blue said the meth lab is being investigated separate from the fire and fireworks.









KALAMAZOO, MI – Police found methamphetamine lab components at the scene of a house fire early Wednesday on Kalamazoo’s north side but don’t know yet if the materials sparked the blaze, authorities said.

Kalamazoo Public Safety officers responded to the fire at about 1:15 a.m. in the 900 block of Staples Avenue near Conant Street, Assistant Chief Ryan Tibbets said.

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There was fire coming from a second-floor window when officers arrived on scene. Tibbets said the fire was able to be put out quickly and the flames were confined to the second floor of the house.


Tibbets said no one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.


At the scene, officers found meth-lab components. Tibbets said the Fire Marshal was at the scene investigating Wednesday morning and has not determined yet what caused the fire.

Tibbets said the fire is believed to have started on the second floor of the house.









The Marion County Sheriff’s Department busted six different meth labs in just the last week and a half. While any drug use is incredibly harmful to the person that uses it, meth is dangerous, not just for the people that use it, but for everyone surrounding them.

Making methamphetamines is a highly volatile process, which can contaminate children and neighbors, and even shut down entire buildings. It’s not a harmless drug. Law enforcement agencies are doing their best to crack down on this epidemic for three reasons: because of the physical damage it does to the person who uses it, the damage it does to the community, and the rise it causes in related crimes like shoplifting and breaking and entering. The scary part about drug abuse is that it can happen to almost anyone.

Marion County Sheriff's Department busted six different meth labs

“Not only is it in our county but it is affecting a lot of the people they know and they don’t realize it,” said Debbie Mann, coordinator for the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

At the coalition, people realize that any drug use is harmful to families, but meth in particular is being used more and more by women and mothers.

“Once they start using it, the changes in the brain chemistry buries the normal maternal instincts, the nurturing,” Mann said.

Mothers on meth often forget to feed and change their babies. Older children become the caretakers. Everyone’s health is at a great risk.

This stuff is so toxic whenever they’re making it, when we do actually find a lab, we have to contact the Department of Environmental Protection; they send somebody up and close this area down,” said Chief Deputy Ralph Wright.

A cleanup from the DEP can cost around $10,000, just for a single family home. Apartment buildings or hotels could cost thousands more. The solid waste from making meth can burn the skin and the gasses that come off the mixture when it is cooking can burn the eyes and lungs of anyone nearby; and anything. If a duplex shares heating and air-conditioning, both side could be contaminated. People that are making the drug aren’t usually doing anything to keep those chemicals contained.

“Most of these people that are cooking meth don’t dispose of this stuff the proper way. This stuff is going down sink drains, out in your yards, and in playgrounds. Anywhere that they make it they’re just dumping this stuff out,” Wright said.

Because of that, meth contamination can spread into the community physically and emotionally, especially for children who have to deal with it.


“Children that are around that kind of exposure are suffering huge physical and mental consequences because of it,” Mann said.


if you suspect meth use in your community, don’t hesitate to call your local law enforcement.








TYLER COUNTY, W.Va.– A major meth bust in Tyler County resulted in 16 arrests and almost 150 charges, police said.

The investigation involved the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and lasted more than a year and a half.

The grand jury indictments for October 2012 until September 2013 are as follows:

-Benjamin Davis, 40, Middlebourne

-Jeremy Keller, 35, Middlebourne

-Ryen Archer, 22, Middlebourne

-Marc Baker, 30, Middlebourne

-Christina Boor, 44, Middlebourne

-Shelly Davis, 43, Middlebourne

-Dakota Folger, 18, Middlebourne

-Tracy Keller, 46, Middlebourne

-Brock McMahon, 23, Paden City

-Stephen Sheperd, 52,Middlebourne

-Shirl Baker, 34, Sistersville

The grand jury indictments for October 2013 until February 2014 are as follows:

-Shirl Baker, 34, Sistersville

-Brandy Goding, 33, Sistersville

-Joshua (Lloyd) Smith, 29, Sistersville

-Kristin Cross, 21, Sistersville

-William Wells, II, 24, Sistersville

-Amanda Long, 29, New Martinsville

Some of the charges include conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, operating a clandestine drug lab, exposure of children to methamphetamine and possession of meth making materials.

Deputies said most the people involved are related; or in a relationship and some have children together.

Officers said the busts were two separate operations at two homes in Middlebourne and right outside of Middlebourne.

Most of the people involved in the busts have bonded out of jail, but will appear back in court July 3.









MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A Medford police lieutenant says drug addicts are to blame for an increase in burglaries.

Lt. Mike Budreau tells the Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/11d5E03) most burglars say they’re stealing property to supply their habit for methamphetamine, heroin or prescription pills.

There were 214 burglaries in Medford from January through April compared with 186 in the same period a year ago.








On June 23, the Lincoln County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) received multiple complaints of a residence possibly manufacturing methamphetamine along the 1000 block of Kamp Road, in Moscow Mills. Upon arrival and prior to making contact with the homeowner, narcotic investigators could smell a strong odor of ammonia emitting from the rear of the home.


After receiving consent, investigators found a trash bag on the back porch of the residence full of methamphetamine making materials. From the back porch, a door opened to a bedroom belonging to 20-year old Megan Hupp, of Moscow Mills, where investigators located filters, meth manufacturing materials and several used and active “shake and bake” bottles.


Investigators located the homeowner 44-year old, Jaqueline Smith, of Moscow Mills, who later admitted to the manufacturing and consuming methamphetamine in the residence.

Smith and Hupp were both arrested and charged with Felony Manufacturing of Methamphetamine. Both are currently housed at the Lincoln County Jail subject to a $25,000 cash only bond each. Other conditions of bond may apply.

The Narcotics Enforcement Team is currently composed of detectives from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Troy Police Department. NET is also supported by all other Law Enforcement entities in Lincoln County.







ALACHUA COUNTY— It was a drug investigation that crystalized after a woman was booked into jail.

Investigators say one woman risked adding more time behind bars by smuggling drugs into the Alachua County Jail.

Two days after April Davis was arrested for grand theft, a detention center officer noticed her take out a white napkin from her shirt pocket.

The officer found a white chunky substance inside that turned out to be three point two grams of methamphetamine.

Officers did not detect the drugs when she first was searched.

Davis had hid the narcotics inside her body.

The Securepass machine that search the inmates don’t pick up clear baggies or white substances it wasn’t discovered.

When a detainee takes any contraband through the booking process they are risking a higher sentence.

In this case two felony charges and up to thirty five extra years in prison.

Davis was adamant about bringing the drugs in.

(Sgt. Brandon Kutner, Alachua County Sheriffs Office.) “She did say that she hid it specifically, because she didnt want to give the arresting officer who was from the Waldo Police Department the satisfaction of arresting her on a drug charge.

Davis is in jail on a fifty five thousand dollar bond awaiting sentencing for three different felony charges.









Counter to the increasing amount of meth labs discovered by law enforcement in the Tuscarawas Valley and surrounding area this year, the number of individuals receiving treatment for meth addiction and dependency is low, according to local health officials.

“We have seen a little bit of an increase in individuals using meth or meth-related treatment involvement,” said Natalie Bollon, manager of community services for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board of Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, which funds several area addiction and recovery agencies.

“But alcohol continues to be our No. 1 most frequently diagnosed addiction. We have heard more about meth lately, especially from the court system.”

The ADAMHS Board receives money from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as well as levies, to fund services at Community Mental Healthcare, Personal and Family Counseling Services of Tuscarawas Valley, the Alcohol and Addiction program at the Tuscarawas County Health Department and Harbor House, which is a division of Personal and Family Counseling Services.

From July 1, 2013, to May 31, 2014, 1,047 individuals received substance-abuse treatment from agencies that the ADAMHS board funds, according to statistics provided by the ADAMHS board.

The majority of those individuals — 596 — indicated alcohol abuse or dependency as their primary concern. Nearly 210 individuals said they had abused or were dependent on marijuana; opiate abuse and dependency was indicated by 157 people; and 41 individuals sought treatment for cocaine abuse.

Of the 1,047 individuals seeking help in Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, only 15 sought treatment for meth abuse.

Tony Incarnato, clinical director at the Alcohol and Addiction program at the Tuscarawas County Health Department, agreed that the number of individuals seeking help for meth dependency is low and overshadowed by alcohol, and even tobacco.

“We don’t see many cases of methamphetamine,” said Incarnato. “Your main drug is alcohol and the next biggest killer is tobacco. They’re the year-after-year, day-after-day types of things this agency sees.”


Meth — which can be taken orally, smoked, snorted or dissolved into another drug — increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, which plays a role in the reward, motivation, pleasure and motor function parts of the brain.

Because the effects of meth quickly fade away, users often will begin a “binge-and-crash” pattern of taking repeated doses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The repeated use of meth can lead to addiction.

“Addiction is a progressive disease,” said Star Jones, a licensed professional counselor at Personal and Family Counseling Services of Tuscarawas Valley in New Philadelphia. “(Meth users) don’t typically realize it has progressed until other signs start appearing in their lives — they can’t retain a job, they went to jail a couple of times or they have had significant problems in their relationships.”

Meth addiction is characterized by intense cravings, and can do serious damage to an addict’s psychological health as well as their life and the lives of their loved ones, Jones said.

“It’s extremely difficult to recover from meth (addiction),” said Jones. “Its rate of progression is very, very quick.”


Meth treatment can entail residential or intensive outpatient treatment.

Residential treatment can be served at the Harbor House in New Philadelphia, which is a division of Personal and Family Counseling. Intensive outpatient parallels normal outpatient treatment, but requires more involvement of the client and counseling each week.

Though both styles of treatment are different, they include what health officials say is the most important component.

“Group counseling is a large portion of addiction treatment,” said Jones. “In group counseling, the individual not only gets feedback directly from the counselor, but gets to learn from the other group members in recovery who are struggling from the same things.”

Bollon said group counseling can also benefit family members watching their loved ones battle with drugs.

“Family support groups are so important because these families go through the addiction with their loved ones so closely,” said Bollon. “It gives them support from other family members who look at behaviors that the family may be engaging in that keeps that addiction going that they didn’t intend.”


There are many things individuals in counseling must accomplish to successfully complete treatment, such as making positive lifestyle changes, attending counseling meetings and sessions and putting forth the effort to end the dependency.

“If you don’t do certain things, you can (be in treatment) a long time,” Incarnato said. “We’re not just cranking people out or running them through the program. We are based on results.”

The length of time for treatment, Incarnato added, varies for each individual, with some taking several weeks and others taking several months.

But once that treatment is complete and the individual has overcome addiction and created a new lifestyle, the emotions can be gratifying, especially for a counselor.

Larry Townsend is the clinical supervisor for the same alcohol and addiction program Incarnato works with. He said the love for his job comes from watching people conquer their drug dependency.

“I’m grateful for being involved in changing their lives,” said Townsend. “It’s wonderful to watch. I never cease to be amazed by the ability these people have.”

Jones explained that watching someone complete treatment and give up their addiction is “like watching a miracle.”

“A lot of times they come to us at the lowest point in their life or at least a very low point and we get to see them be successful,” she said. “A lot of times, the clients who come to us and are struggling with addiction are on the verge of death. We get to see the color come back to their skin and the vitality come back. The light comes back on in their eyes. It is a really amazing process.”








Methamphetamine in the Ohio Valley

Posted: 24th June 2014 by Doc in Uncategorized

More than a decade ago, Holmes County Sheriff’s deputies responded to their first call about a methamphetamine lab at a mobile home north of Charm on state Route 557.

“We didn’t know what we had,” said Sgt. Joe Mullet, who was a firefighter for the East Holmes Fire District at the time.

That’s no longer the case.

Holmes County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Tim Stryker simulates the

Holmes County’s meth task force has spearheaded the cleanup of dozens of meth labs in Holmes, Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties since it was organized in 2010. Mullet, who heads the group, is considered to be the area’s leading expert regarding meth lab operations and is certified in dismantling and removing labs.

Mullet and his team — which includes Sgt. Tim Stryker and Junior Troyer, a firefighter and reserve deputy — are busy. In 2013, 161 meth labs were reported in the four counties. More than 200 labs have been reported already this year.

Meth has become an epidemic statewide, especially in rural counties, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said earlier this year.

When meth first appeared in Ohio, it required a full-blown laboratory to cook meth. Now, “cooks” need just a 2-liter pop bottle to make meth. The figures for 2013 and 2014 are for each pop bottle meth lab found, and there may be as many as four or five in one house, Mullet said. Last week, police found 77 in a Newcomerstown home.

“I have no doubt this is going to be a record year,” he said. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”


Cleaning up a meth lab is not without risk.

Mullet said labs have a 50 percent failure rate and can cause fires and explosions. “If they explode, they can take out a wall.”

He recalled a recent case in Holmesville when a lab blew up and the person suspected of operating it was burned.

Mullet takes precautions when dismantling labs and has never had one blow up on him. “You can see them start heating up as you dismantle them,” he said.

The makers understand the risk as well.

Mullet was called to clean up a lab in Uhrichsville in the past year, and he recalled talking to a woman who was involved in operating it. “The lady is telling us what you’ve got to do to dismantle it and clean it up,” he said. “She was right. They know what the risks are.”

R When the Holmes County team is called to a meth lab, task force members start out by talking to the first responders already on the scene to assess the situation. Then they suit up in a fire-resistant suits, boots and gloves. They can’t have any exposed skin in case the lab catches on fire while they are dismantling it, Mullet said.

The suits cost $1,900 each and can be reused, as long as they are not exposed to chemicals, which can damage the suits.

If the meth is still cooking, Mullet and his team have to finish the cooking process to neutralize it.

One of the items they use to neutralize the meth is cat litter. It helps turn the meth into a solid. Once it becomes a solid, it can be disposed of in a trash receptacle. “It’s no longer a hazardous waste,” he said.

After the clean-up process is completed, the team sends a report to the county where the lab was located, along with a list of the expenses involved. “The defendants have to reimburse us, if they have the money,” Mullet said.

Mullet joined the Holmes County task force when it was organized in 2010. At that time, it was headed by Sgt. Roger Sprowl, who was certified to deal with meth.

Mullet received his initial training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., and his advanced training in Kansas City at the Clandestine Laboratory Investigators Association.

To keep his certification, he has to take training every year and know how to cook meth himself. “We have to cook meth in our classes,” he said. “If you can’t finish the cook, it will blow up.”


Meth addicts can’t hide their addiction from their family and friends.

Their appearance will change from all the chemicals used in its production, said Richard L. Haun Jr., chief deputy for the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office.

“In the first three months, people will see a difference,” he said. “Addicts have rotting teeth, sores and weight loss. It goes down from there.”

Anyone can become an addict.

“Meth is not prejudiced,” Mullet said. “It doesn’t care if you’re young or old, rich or poor, or about the color of your skin. It doesn’t discriminate against anybody.”

Users have told him that using meth is like going to an amusement park and riding a roller coaster. After riding one ride, you want to go on a bigger coaster for the thrill, he said.

“They want the bigger ride,” he said of meth addicts.

Meth costs $100 a gram, and addicts can spend $200 to $300 a day if they’re a serious user.

“I’ve never found a cook who is not a user,” Mullet said.

Often, there are children living in homes used as meth lab, and they are breathing in toxic chemicals, Haun said.

“The kids is what does it to me,” Mullet said. “That’s what keeps me doing it. If you don’t break the cycle, it will keep going and going.”

Haun added, “That’s when tragedy strikes, when you don’t break the cycle.”


In 2011, Holmes County joined a drug task force formed by Tuscarawas, Harrison and Carroll counties. By joining forces, the four counties are able to share the expense of battling meth.

“It’s not cheap fighting meth,” Mullet said.

The team has a trailer to haul around its supplies used in meth clean-up operations. The trailer cost $10,000 and the equipment costs between $50,000 and $60,000. The four-county drug task force purchased the trailer, and Holmes County provides the supplies, he said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation also assists with equipment. “They are wonderful to work with,” Mullet said.

When law enforcement in a particular county puts pressure on meth cooks, they just move to another jurisdiction.

“We hit it real hard, and they went away,” Mullet said. “Then they came back. They move around a lot.

“Meth is here to stay for awhile, unfortunately. There are some very smart meth cooks out there. They’re hard to get.”

Both Mullet and Haun urged the public to have patience with law enforcement as they deal with labs.

Haun said they have to have probable cause before they can move against a suspected lab. It can take as long as a year to gather evidence in one case.

They said the public can play an important role in this effort. Mullet said calls from the public help build evidence against a suspected lab.

“Call immediately if you see something,” he said. “Sometimes people will wait a week to call the police, and the information is stale.”

“Everybody has to be our eyes and ears,” Haun said. “We can’t be everywhere.”








LABADIEVILLE, LA (WVUE) – A Napoleonville woman was arrested Saturday after a traffic stop yielded more than 24 gram of meth hidden in a portable radio, according to Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack.Tammy Lynn Lucas, 38, was booked with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, third-offense possession of marijuana, speeding, driving left of center and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At about 10:46 a.m., deputies stopped Lucas on La Highway 308. A search of her car turned up a small amount of marijuana and approximately 24.1 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of about $3,400 hidden inside a small portable radio.

Lucas remains jailed in the Assumption Parish Detention Center on a $35,861.50 bond.









A Taylor County mother and her son have been arrested on drug charges.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were aware of illegal drug activity at the home of Christopher McCauley, as a result of an ongoing investigation into the manufacture of methamphetamine.


McCauley’s mother, Rebecca Payne, admitted to purchasing pseudoephedrine at the Rite Aid in Bridgeport for her son’s use. McCauley admitted to making meth using the “one pot method” at his home in Gates Addition in Flemington at least 75 times.


Deputies recovered 13 generators used to “salt out” the meth and three labs.


McCauley and Payne have bonded out of jail.








Ayutthaya (Thailand) – Lured by easy money, an escape from poverty or family pressure, thousands of women are locked up for drug offences in Thailand, which has one of the world’s highest rates of female imprisonment.

Mai, 27, was sentenced to three years in jail after she was caught with 20 “yaba” pills — a slang term for methamphetamine known locally as “crazy medicine” — used by tens of thousands of Thais from taxi drivers to students.

“The amount of yaba was more than was considered for personal use so I was charged with selling,” said Mai, whose boyfriend is also in prison for dealing methamphetamine.

She is serving her second stint behind bars in a prison in Ayutthaya north of Bangkok where she lives with her baby boy, and has no hope of early release in a country with one of the world’s strictest anti-drugs policies.


A three-year jail sentence for meth possession is routine in Thailand, where use of the illegal stimulant is rife.

Within Asia, the kingdom is second only to China in terms of methamphetamine seizures.

More than 95 million meth tablets were seized in Thailand in 2012, up almost five-fold from 2008, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Much of the region’s meth is produced in strife-torn border areas in neighbouring Myanmar and smuggled across the border.

Thailand saw nearly 196,000 methamphetamine-related arrests in 2012, the most in Asia, according to UNODC.

Sixty-nine Thai women were also arrested for drug smuggling overseas in the same year, compared with just three men, the UN agency said.

At the prison in Ayutthaya, the walls of the children’s room are covered with drawings.

But despite the flower beds that welcome visitors and the hair salon, life is no picnic with prisoners required to carry out cleaning and other tasks, said Mai, dressed in the same light blue uniform as the 650 other inmates.

The prisoners sew beads on T-shirts for a salary of just 100 baht ($3) a month, with the proceeds of the sales going towards the operating budget of the prison.


‘Still human beings’

In a country without a culture of socio-educational support for inmates, one Thai writer is trying to change her compatriots’ views of prison.

“We want the society to look at the prisoners as human beings. Everyone can make mistakes or be jailed as a scapegoat,” Orasom Suddhisakorn said.

Orasom leads writing workshops in prisons and has already published two collections of these stories, “Facekook” — “kook” meaning prison in Thai — that have sold several thousand copies.

The stories are familiar — of ordinary women sentenced to years in prison for a handful of yaba pills.

As a young penniless divorcee, one inmate wrote of how she sold the drug to raise her son, while another recounts how her foreign boyfriend manipulated and used her as a mule.

A third tells how she sold drugs to follow the tradition of her family, in which everyone, from her aunt to her mother, lived from meth trafficking.

– Remembering the past –

At one of the workshops, attended by about 20 inmates, 23-year-old Sawapa said writing “helps me to organise my thoughts”.

“It makes me think of the past, of my family, of how I lived,” she added.

Sawapa, who was jailed for possession of 30 yaba pills, recounts being led by a neighbour into small-time dealing while she was a student.

Her mother wants her to resume her studies and eventually take over the family grocery store. But her release date is not until 2018.

This tough treatment of small-time traffickers is one reason why Thailand has one of the world’s highest rates of women prisoners.

Roughly 42,000 women are behind bars in Thailand — about 14 percent of the total imprisoned population, according to the corrections department.

That compares with around nine percent for the United States, five percent for China and zero percent for Liechtenstein, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.

Nearly half of the female inmates in Thailand are serving sentences for trafficking or possession of meth.

At the Ayutthaya jail, the figure is 80 percent, according to the prison director.

Orasom, the writer, is one of the rare voices to advocate a better support for prisoners.

But some other activists are calling for a reduction of prison terms for drugs, arguing that the harsh policy — which can result in decades in jail — has failed to curb dealing.

“People get 20, 30 or 40 years when it would be three years in other countries,” said Danthong Breen of rights group Union for Civil Liberty.









SALEM TWP. —A man from Syracuse, New York had smoked methamphetamine for three days before he abruptly stopped his car in a residential neighborhood yelling there was a poisonous snake inside, according to charges filed.

Township police said Thomas William Fleming, 42, stopped in the middle of East Third Street at about 1:53 p.m. Saturday, and yelled “There is a poisonous snake in my car.” Fleming got out and jumped on the trunk telling bystanders and police “He got it,” arrest papers say.

Police allege Fleming claimed he hadn’t slept for days and had used methamphetamine for three days before he was arrested. Fleming refused to submit to a blood chemical test at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Hazleton, according to the criminal complaint.

Fleming told police he was traveling from New York to Tampa, Florida.

Fleming was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.








Laredo, Texas (CBP) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry this weekend seized a significant load of methamphetamine valued at $2 million during a routine vehicle examination.


“Utilizing an effective combination of technology, training and inspections experience our frontline CBP officers seized a significant load of hard narcotics,” said Jose Uribe, Acting CBP Port Director, Laredo. “Seizures like these reinforce the border security aspect of our mission and help to stem the flow of narcotics to our streets.”

The seizure occurred on Saturday, June 21, 2014 when CBP officers working at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge encountered a 2005 Chevy Malibu driven by a 25-year-old U.S. citizen from Laredo, Texas. CBP officers referred the driver and vehicle for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers discovered 25 packages containing a total of nearly 65 pounds of alleged methamphetamine hidden within the vehicle. The estimated street value for the narcotics is $2 million.

CBP Field Operations at Laredo Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.