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Methamphetamine Abuse and Clandestine Laboratories

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1 Methamphetamine Abuse and Clandestine Laboratories
National Crime Prevention Council 2006 Ohio Resource Network

2 This presentation is provided by
Eric T. Hall The Ohio Resource Network for Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities University of Cincinnati 2624 Clifton Avenue 433 Teachers College Cincinnati, Ohio Phone: (option #2) Fax: Ohio Resource Network

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Overview History of Meth What is Meth What does Meh look like Street names Signs, symptoms and methods of use Side effects of meth abuse Abuse patterns and treatment Types of Clandestine labs Dangers associated with clandestine labs Ohio Resource Network

4 History of Methamphetamine
Early 1900s WW II 1950s 1960s Vietnam War 1970 1887: Amphetamine first synthesized by German chemist. 1919: Methamphetamine discovered in Japan. 1930: Amphetamine marketed as Benzedrine in OTC inhaler for congestion. 1937: Amphetamine in tablets by prescription for narcolepsy and ADHD. World War II: Amphetamine widely distributed to soldiers to help keep them fighting. 1950: Dextro-amphetamine(Dexedrine) and Methamphetamine becomes widely available. 1960: Various outlaw motorcycle gangs manufacture and distribute Methamphetamine. Vietnam War: American soldiers use more amphetamine than the rest of the world did in WWII. 1970: Methamphetamine becomes illegal. ‘U.S. Drug Abuse Regulation and Control Act’ Ohio Resource Network

5 What is Methamphetamine?
Meth is a Schedule II controlled substance. It is manufactured in clandestine labs. It is easily made using household chemicals. No formal chemistry training is needed. The FDA currently approves of pharmacologically prepared meth for treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and short term weight loss. Also for treatment research for narcolepsy, a rare sleeping disorder. Ohio Resource Network

6 What is Methamphetamine?
A powerful stimulant Meth is a strong central nervous system stimulant that activates certain systems in the brain. The pleasurable effects of meth result from the stimulation of the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that work to “turn on” and “turn off” impulses throughout the body. Dopamine plays an important role in the pleasure and mood centers of the brain. Meth use leads to very high levels of dopamine, and the user experiences an elevated mood or “high.” Ohio Resource Network

7 Meth’s Effect on the Brain
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Why Methamphetamine? Ohio Resource Network

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What Meth Looks Like Typically, meth is a white, odorless powder that easily dissolves in water. Another form is clear chunky crystals (crystal meth). It can also be in the form of a small, brightly colored tablet called “yaba” which is Thai for “crazy medicine.” Ohio Resource Network

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What Meth Looks Like Ohio Resource Network

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Street Names Speed Crank Ice Crystal Meth Glass Fire Crypto Ohio Resource Network

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Methods of Use Orally Ingested: “NO RUSH” Bitter taste. Effects last minutes. Inhaled /Snorted: “NO RUSH” Burns linings of nostrils. Effects last 3-5 minutes. Smoked: (Highly addictive) “RUSH” Heat and inhale vapor. Effects immediate, last only a few minutes. Injected: (Highly addictive) “RUSH” Dangers associated with shared needles. Effects same as smoking. Ohio Resource Network

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Signs and Symptoms Methamphetamine use dilates the pupils and produces temporary hyperactivity, euphoria, and a sense of increased energy, tremors, and increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate of breathing. Ohio Resource Network

14 Side Effects Meth is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. Short term side effects:
Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiration. Alertness, insomnia, euphoria, clouded mental functioning, possible tremors and convulsions, and decreased appetite. Ohio Resource Network

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Side Effects Long term side effects: Dependence, tolerance, addiction, psychosis (paranoia, violent behavior, hallucinations, delusions, mood disturbances), weight loss, stroke, irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, skin abscess, acute lead poisoning. Damage to the brain is similar to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy. Ohio Resource Network

16 Abuse Patterns Meth abuse has three patterns: Low intensity Binge
High intensity Low intensity: Casual use, not psychologically addicted. Swallows or snorts. Use meth like many people use caffeine or nicotine. Want the extra stimulation so that they can stay awake (students, truck drivers, housewives) Want the appetite suppressant effect to lose weight. Simply switching to smoking or injecting offers the abuser a quick transition to a binge pattern of abuse. Binge: Psychologically addicted, smoke, or inject. Is the continuation of the high. Maintains high by smoking/injecting more meth. Each time more meth is used, a smaller euphoric rush than the initial rush is experienced until finally, there is no rush or high. The abuser becomes hyperactive both mentally and physically. The binge can last 3-15 days. Rush: The initial response felt when smoking or injecting. Heart beat races, metabolism, blood pressure, and pulse soar. Can continue for 5-30 minutes High: Feels euphoric, aggressive, smarter and alert, can be argumentative. Can last 4-16 hours Tweaking: Is the most dangerous stage!! Occurs at the end of the binge when nothing the abuser does will take away the feeling of emptiness, including taking more meth. Takes depressant to ease bad feeling. (alcohol/heroin) Crash: Means an incredible amount of sleep. Body needs to replenish epinephrine. (adrenaline) Can last 1-3 days. Normal: After the crash, the abuser returns to normal. Last 2-14 days. However, as the frequency of binging increases, the duration of the normal stage decreases. Withdrawal: No acute, immediate symptoms of physical distress are evident. Often days must pass before the abuser realizes he is in withdrawal. High intensity: Psychologically addicted, smoke or inject. High intensity abusers are the “Addicts.” Their whole existence focuses on preventing the crash, and they seek that elusive, “perfect” rush- like the first one. Each successive rush becomes less euphoric and takes more meth to achieve it. Each high is not quite as high as the one before. During the binge, the abuser needs more meth, more often, to get a high that is not as good as the high he wants or remembers. Ohio Resource Network

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Withdrawal Abuser becomes depressed, loses ability to experience pleasure. Becomes lethargic, has no energy. Craving for more meth hits. May become suicidal. If more meth is taken at any point during the withdrawal, the unpleasant feelings will end. Consequently, the success rate for rehabilitation is very low. 93 % will return to abuse meth. Ohio Resource Network

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Dangerous Tweakers Are extremely unpredictable, irritable, and short tempered. Probably have not slept in 3-15 days. Crave more meth, but no dosage will recreate the high. Tweakers become very frustrated. No one knows for certain what will trigger a tweaker to be violent. He exists in his own world, seeing and hearing things others don’t. Hallucinations seem real. Ohio Resource Network

21 Tweaker Physical Signs
Can appear normal. Eyes are clear, speech concise, and movements brisk. A closer look: Eyes are moving 10 times faster than normal and may roll. Speaks in a quick often steady voice with slight quiver, and movements are exaggerated, quick and jerky due to being over stimulated. Thinking is scattered and subject to paranoid delusions. Needs no provocation to react violently. Ohio Resource Network

22 Safety Tips for Dealing With a Tweaker
Keep a social distance. Do not shine bright lights at them. Slow your speech and lower the pitch. Slow your movements. Keep your hands visible. Keep the tweaker talking. Discontinue any activity or discussion that seems to irritate the tweaker. Ohio Resource Network

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Other Concerns Weapons: Many abusers maintain weapons. Hostage: May take hostage if he feels cornered. Domestic Violence: Abusers can be dangerous and unpredictable. Vehicle Accidents: Abusers have hallucinations and delusions. Paranoia may cause erratic driving. Crimes of Opportunity: Abusers commit robberies, thefts, assaults, and burglaries. Ohio Resource Network

24 Other Concerns Continued
Alcohol: If a tweaker chooses to ease his discomfort with alcohol, identifying him as a tweaker and reasoning with him becomes difficult. Rapid eye movement and quick speech might actually slow to normal speed. Tweakers using alcohol are ordinarily not concerned with the consequences of their actions. A situation can quickly lead to violence. Ohio Resource Network

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Treatment There are no pharmacological treatments for meth dependency. Antidepressant medications can be used to combat the depressive symptoms of withdrawal. The most effective treatment for meth addiction is cognitive behavioral interventions, which modify patient’s thinking, expectations, and behavior while increasing coping skills to deal with life stressors. Deal with physical, mental and emotional addiction. Recovery support groups are somewhat effective. Ohio Resource Network

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Types of Labs There are generally two types of clandestine meth drug labs. Super Labs “Mom and Pop” Labs Ohio Resource Network

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Super Labs A large, highly organized lab that can manufacture 10 or more pounds ($4,500- $20,000 street value) of meth per production cycle. To date, these labs are concentrated in Southern California and Mexico. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration they account for 80 percent of all meth produced. Ohio Resource Network

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“Mom and Pop” Labs These labs are more common and manufacture only one to four ounces of meth per production cycle ($500- $2,700 street value). Their operators typically produce enough drugs for their own and close associates’ use, and just enough extra to sell to others to finance the purchase of production chemicals. Although these labs account for a much smaller portion of all meth produced, they account for far more explosions, fires, hazardous waste dumping, and child endangerment. Ohio Resource Network

29 Primary Methods of Meth Production
Ephedrine Reduction Red Phosphorous Method: (Most popular) Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, also red phosphorous usually taken from strips on matchboxes, are main ingredients. Produces phosphine gas, which can be lethal. Ohio Resource Network

30 Meth Production Continued
Nazi Method: (Birch) Uses anhydrous ammonia (liquid fertilizer). More frequent in farming and rural areas. Other ingredients are pseudoephedrine, and lithium. Can produce a cloud of ammonia gas, which is also extremely dangerous. Ohio Resource Network

31 Meth Production Continued
P2P Method: (phenyl-2-Propanone) Outlaw motorcycle bikers prefer this method of manufacturing meth. By the 1990’s, Ephedrine reduction became more popular, and the P2P method was less used. Now accounts for less than 2 percent of meth labs seized. Ohio Resource Network

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Signs of a Meth Lab Frequent visitors at all times of day and night. Activity at the house is usually at odd hours. Occupants appear unemployed, yet have plenty of money. Extensive security. Windows blacked out, or curtains drawn. Chemical odors coming from the house. (ammonia, cat urine) Garbage contains numerous bottles and containers, stained filter/sheets from red phosphorus, or has a chemical odor. Ohio Resource Network

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Household Equipment Tempered glass baking dishes, glass or plastic jugs, jars, paper towels or filters, funnels, rubber tubing/gloves, buckets, blenders, gas can, tape, clamps, hot plate, strainer, turkey baster, plastic storage containers, ice chests, measuring cups, aluminum foil, lab beakers, towels, matches, propane cylinder. Ohio Resource Network

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Equipment: Ohio Resource Network

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Chemicals Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (cold tablets), alcohol,(rubbing/gas additive) toluene(brake fluid), ether(engine starter), sulfuric acid(drain cleaner), lithium(batteries), anhydrous ammonia(farm fertilizer), red phosphorous(matches), iodine(vet. products),sodium hydroxide(lye), rock salt, trichloroethane(gun scrubber), kitty litter. Ohio Resource Network

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Chemicals: Ohio Resource Network

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48 Dangers Caused by Clandestine Labs
Physical Injury Mixing chemicals in clan drug labs creates substantial risks of explosions, fires, chemical burns, and toxic fume inhalation. These risks not only apply to the people running the lab, but also neighbors, emergency first responders (law enforcement and fire), and hazardous materials clean up crews. Ohio Resource Network

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CHILD ENDANGERMENT Hundreds of children are neglected every year after living with parents who run meth labs. More than 20 percent of labs seized last year had children present. Every year the number of injuries and deaths of children due to clanestine labs increases. Ohio Resource Network

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By The Numbers According to the DEA: 8,000 meth labs were seized nationwide. 3,300 children were found in them. 48 were burned or injured. 1 was killed. Countless were removed from their parents’ custody. Children living at or near a meth lab are exposed to immediate dangers and to the ongoing effects of chemical contamination. Children can also be subjected to fires, explosions, physical and sexual abuse, neglect, a hazardous lifestyle, social problems, and other risks. Ohio Resource Network

54 Chemical Contamination
Children may: Inhale or swallow toxic substances or second-hand smoke of adults using meth, causing headache, nausea, dizziness, eye and respiratory irritation, and shortness of breath. Receive an injection or accidental skin prick from discarded needles or other paraphernalia. Absorb meth and other toxic chemicals through the skin following contact with contaminated surfaces, clothing, and food. Ohio Resource Network

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Fire and Explosions Approximately 15 percent of meth labs are discovered as a result of fire or explosion. Some causes include: Careless handling and over heating volatile chemicals and waste, and unsafe manufacturing methods. Improperly labeled and incompatible chemicals are often stored together or left on stove tops near an ignition source accessible to children. Ohio Resource Network

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Abuse and Neglect Children living at meth labs are at increased risk of severe neglect and physical and sexual abuse (by family members and others). Parents and caregivers who are meth dependent become careless, irritable, and violent, often losing their capacity to nurture the children. Older siblings often assume the role of caregiver. Children may experience added trauma of witnessing, or being forced to participate in violence, having to care for an incapacitated or injured parent, or watch police arrest a parent. Ohio Resource Network

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Hazardous Lifestyle Meth homes often lack heating, cooling, proper ventilation, legally provided electricity, running water, or refrigeration. Living and playing areas are contaminated with chemicals, rotten food, condoms, and infested with rodents and insects. Toilets and tubs are backed up or inoperable. There is exposure and accessibility to weapons, guns, and booby traps. Ohio Resource Network

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Social Problems Children often exhibit low self esteem, a sense of shame, and poor social skills. They may experience emotional and mental health problems, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school absenteeism and failure, isolation, and poor peer relations. Many will imitate parents as adults. Many exhibit an attachment disorder caused when parents fail to respond to a child’s basic needs. For example, the child doesn’t cry when separated, or they develop an inability to trust, form relationships, and adapt. Ohio Resource Network

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Other Risks Dangerous animals trained to protect illegal meth lab. Exposure to pornographic materials and overt sexual activity. May be directly involved in manufacturing meth without protective or safety gear. Unaware victims like neighbors, schools etc. Meth lab described in a social worker in a report: The five children ranged in age from 1 to 7. “The one bedroom home had no electricity or heat other than a gas stove with the oven door open. Used hypodermic needles and dog feces littered areas of the residence where the children were found playing. There were no beds, so the children slept under a card table with only a blanket. The bathroom had sewage backed up in the tub, leaving no place to bathe. A hospital exam revealed all had hepatitis C. All had needle marks on their legs, feet, hands, and arms from accidental contact with syringes.” Ohio Resource Network

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Risks Continued Pregnancy Concerns Environmental Hazards Criminal Environment Pregnancy concerns: Women who abuse meth during pregnancy have an increased chance of delivering prematurely. In the unborn child, meth distorts the reflexes and causes extreme irritability. Research also suggests that children of abusers are at an increased risk of deformities. Environmental Hazards: The chemicals used to make meth are toxic, and result in a great deal of hazardous waste. Each pound of manufactured meth produces approximately 5-6 pounds of hazardous waste. Criminal environment: innocent, unsuspecting victims.(neighbors, schools) Ohio Resource Network

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Hazardous Waste Cost of clean up: Drug lab operators dump this waste into the ground, sewers, streams, and rivers. Water used to put out lab fires can also wash toxic chemicals into sewers. Cleaning up these labs requires specialized training and equipment and costs between $2,500 and $10,000 per site. It can cost up to $150,000 to clean up hazardous materials in the larger super labs. Ohio Resource Network

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FIRE DANGERS Ohio Resource Network

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Fire Dangers: Ohio Resource Network

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What You Can Do First and foremost, DO NOT touch any material or investigate. Contact local law enforcement. Be vigilant and watch for clues of meth production. Get to know your neighbor. Screen prospective tenants. Educate store owners to watch their inventory for frequent or large quantities of products purchased which are used in meth production. Educate hotel and housekeeping staff to be alert to suspicious behavior, odors, stains, and discarded items. Ohio Resource Network

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Reality Check “It’s like selling your soul to the devil. When I was high, I felt alive for the first time in my life. While I was using, I thought nothing could touch me. I was beautiful and perfect in my meth world. In the real world, my body was rotting from the inside out.” --Former meth user Ohio Resource Network

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Resources Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (SAMHSA) Office of National Drug Control Policy. (ONDCP) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (NIDA) National Institute of Mental Health. (NIMH) National Criminal Justice Reference Service. (NCJRS) National Drug Intelligence Center. (NDIC) Ohio Resource Network

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Resources Continued Ohio Resource Network

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1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Thirteenth Floor Washington, DC 20036 (fax) Used with permission from the Ohio Resource Network September 2006 Ohio Resource Network

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Presenter Contact Information Trainer: Add your contact information to this slide. Ohio Resource Network

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