Meth…also known as ‘CRANK’. It is an extremely potent form of ‘SPEED’ as it was known in the 60’s & 70s. Speed of course being amphetamines.
I live in an area of Oklahoma where Meth lab busts are common on a weekly basis. A few years back, my county ranked as number 2 in the Nation for Meth lab busts. Two to three every week. We’ve had houses blow up right here in town…in nice neighborhoods as well as the bad ones, when something went wrong in the lab.
I have watched this drug over the years go through various stages of how users obtain it. At one time, it was a very secretive and dangerous business for all involved. Many drug related murders directly connected to meth have been committed in my county. In the early stages of the beginning of its wide spread use here, there were only a very few ‘select’ dealers. The labs were the most elusive of all things to find and bust. Usually tucked away in some far away farm house out in the boonies. The hardest main ingredient at one time to come by was…’The Cook’. Often cooks where brought in from out of the area, the lab was set up and waiting. The cook would do his job for 3 or 4 days then take his cut in cash and split. It was nothing to hear of a cook making $50,000 off of one large batch. Then the ‘recipe’ got out via the internet and users. ‘Kitchen labs’ are abundant in the area now. Some for private use, others for ‘production’.
Another street name for Meth is ‘Crank’. Along with this slang term was born the term ‘Crankster Gangster’. A ruthless, dangerous individual with no morals, no thought of bloodshed over a nickel’s worth of this horrible drug.
Spotting a Meth user: Its often hard to see it at first. They appear to be healthy for all intent and purpose. The one sure sign I am aware of, is a person who seems extremely hyper active. One very obvious and odd trait is that the user will display, is the gnashing of teeth. The lower jaw working side to side. This is often referred to as ‘Tweaking’ by the users. Tweaking is when the drug is at its most potent level in the users body. If you should ever see it once first hand, you’ll know it again immediately when you see it.
As the addiction progresses, the user will begin to stay up for days on end. Paranoia and hallucinations set in and at this stage, the user can be very dangerous. Damned dangerous if I may say so.
Then the drug begins to take it’s effect on the body. Major weight loss being the first sign. Secondly, something about the drug causes the loss of enamel from the users teeth. Blackened teeth begin to show. This comes after being addicted to the drug for a good length of time.
What can we do about it? If you suspect any of the signs others have posted about things you may find, Mr. Coffee filters ‘usually having a red stain to them’, and other items. Back off…call law enforcement.
Protecting kids? Meth is no different than any other illegal substance abuse our youth at sometime in life will be confronted with. Peer pressure being the major influence for most part.
What to do if you discover a friend, family member or loved one is a user? Family intervention is a good start. Followed with a lot of prayer! Try your best to get the person to seek counseling. Try and find a local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous. You may do this by doing an online search for meetings in your area. Should the afflicted party begin making an honest attempt at quitting, support them as strongly as you can. Learn what ‘tough love’ means. You’ll in all likelihood have to make use of it before the person recovers. Addicts and alcoholics are some of the most accomplished liars on Gods green earth. Trust me on this.
I learned all of this the hard way. I have been a recovering alcoholic/addict for 17 years now. Yes…the leopard can change his spots. But only with a daily walk and belief in a loving God of his understanding, and a desire to stay clean and sober that never ends. In the past 17 years living my life alcohol and drug free, I’ve often been called on to be a pallbearer. None of them died from old age. NOTHING is a stronger reminder to me of what lies ahead if I ever take another drink or use another drug in this life, as to when I stand…walk to the casket…grasp the handle, and once again carry someone gone home early to their final resting place.
And finally, my most often quoted line to a young addict or alcoholic is simple.
~Kid, buy yourself one…maybe two good suits. You’re gonna need em’. One…for the funerals you will be going to, the second…they’ll need one to bury you in.~
Marc R. Murphy
~But for the Grace Of GOD…there go I~