The Truth About Meth

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

Just hearing the components that are used to make methamphetamine will make you shudder.

The key ingredients are ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which can be found in many over the counter medicines like Sudafed, hydrochloric acid, drain cleaner, iodine, anyhdrous ammonia, battery acid, and antifreeze are among the ingredients used in the process..

"Across the United States, we're seeing it grow and grow. Some of the reasons for that, is just the ease at which it can be produced. And, unfortunately, it's the availablity of the components to make meth," says Oregon Police Chief Darin DeHaan.

Chief Dehaan says meth users fall along the entire spectrum attacking people of all ages, and socio-economic levels. The drug produces a sense of euphoria, a rush of high energy that lures users from tees to stay at home moms, into its horror.

"They can go for days without sleeping. Whether it's in the aspect of someone who's partying and going out at night, or in the aspect of the soccer mom who's just going in umpteenth different directions, trying to keep up with the kids, and maybe keeping the home clean and everything...the energy level allows them to do the things they weren't able to do, or they felt they weren't able to do...until they hit the point where the drug has taken over their life and things start to break down and all they can think about is the drug," says DeHaan.

Meth isn't a drug that's being sold on a street corner, cooks and users develop a clique.

"It's somebody who knows somebody who can make it. They give them either money, or some of the product to make it and, in return, that cooker will pay them off with some of the drugs," says DeHaan.

Making the drug is relatively inexpensive, an investment of a few hundred dollars in over the counter medications and chemicals can produce thousands of dollars in profit. An ounce of meth can have a street value of $1,700.

"This isn't a drug that has to be brought over and smuggled into the country. It's not a job that takes months and months to grow in your basement with lights...it's a simple, dangerous chemical process that can be done in an evening or an afternoon and have the product available. So, I think, there's the potential for this to grow and grow...hopefully, we're all doing the right things through education and enforcement to keep that from happening," says DeHaan.

Chief Dehaan says the city of Oregon started taking a proactive role against meth several years ago, building a wall to keep the drug out of the city back in September of 2003, the city began enforcing an ordinance, requiring every pharmacy in town to place medications with epherdrine behind the counter, a federal law with similar regulations went to effect last January.


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