The Curse Of Meth Addiction

'The drug becomes more important'

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The items found in 29-year-old Angel McGrew's pickup truck tell a bigger story than the small amount of methamphetamine hidden in a Kleenex box.

The inventory: a syringe, a drug pipe, four sets of fictitious license plates, a gram of meth and a .38 caliber pistol.

Together they start to reveal a life of bondage to a drug 10 times more addictive than crack cocaine.

Law enforcement personnel, like Department of Public Safety Officer Doc Dimbat, say they see it all too often -- someone who has traded his or her life for a methamphetamine addiction.

For Dimbat, this was a routine stop for speeding on northbound Highway 87 Thursday afternoon.

"Things just didn't add up, so I called Payson MVD," Dimbat said. "I learned she was driving with fictitious plates." Dimbat discovered the meth with the assistance of Payson police and Gila County Sheriff's deputies.

For McGrew, her arrest marked another chapter in a life tormented by drug addiction and arrests, underscored by a recent drug-related felony conviction and parole violation.

Sitting in the back of a squad car with her head in her hands, McGrew will now face a new list of charges, including: use of fictitious license plates, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited possession of firearms (as a convicted felon).

"It's really sad because I don't know if she'll ever get over (the addiction)," Dimbat said as he shook his head in concern.

"This is what we deal with every day," Payson Police Officer David Vaughn said. "It's not unusual. The drugs become more important than anything else in their lives, more important than their job -- more important than their family."

Publisher's note:

On Thursday April 29, 2004 in Globe, Ariz. a 5-month-old boy died of heat-related injuries after his mother left him unattended in a van for hours. His mother, 25-year-old Rendi L. Garcia, tested positive for methamphetamine and said she is addicted to the drug. If you know someone who needs help overcoming an addiction, call Rim Guidance Center at 928-474-3303.

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