(Note: The following article was guest-written be an employee of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office who has experienced firsthand the pain of having a child addicted to drugs.)
Meth (Street Drug)
I have experienced firsthand what it is like to be around a drug addicted daughter. It was not easy having a daughter nor a son-in-law on meth. At the time, I did not know what they were on, but did know the grandchildren were in harm’s way. They were abused and neglected at times. My daughter states she used because she felt rejected and abused by her husband and friends. When she was using, she was very paranoid, skinny (losing approximately 50 pounds), delusional, and immature at times. She felt the need to hide her drug abuse, but everyone knew what she was doing. She even got to the point of threatening to kill my mother-in-law and that is when I stepped in and admitted her into a rehab center. I knew this was not my daughter at all.
I attended a convention in Elko, Nevada in 2006 put on by two detectives out of Idaho. They were letting the public know about the street drug of choice at that time — methamphetamine. I was attending the convention because my daughter was being released out of a rehab center in Las Vegas and I wanted to know about the drug that she was taking. I was at the time raising her two daughters (my granddaughters) and I felt they needed to know also.
Methamphetamine has become the most common and most dangerous street drug ever. Has anyone sat down and really figured out what it is composed of? Methamphetamine is made up of a lot of different recipes, but they all need pseudoephedrine in order to make the real thing. You get the pseudoephedrine from over the counter drugs, but other things used to create the chemical reaction are drain cleaner, brake fluid, lantern fuel, antifreeze and lye. Clandestine labs known as “Mom and Pop” labs are found in rural, city and suburban residences, barns, back rooms of businesses, apartments, hotel and motel rooms, storage facilities, vacant buildings and even vehicles. No matter where the lab is set up, it is dangerous. Explosions and fires are pretty common. People can get chemical burns and if they inhale the fumes while the meth is cooking, they can blister their lungs. Some people are even desperate enough to get meth from urine and/or feces, their own or from other users. This method is not new and also doesn’t work very well as the body only absorbs so much of the drug then eliminates the remainder through waste materials.
A typical meth lab employs something called the “Red, White and Blue Process.” Red is red phosphorus, white is the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and blue is iodine, used to make hydrologic acid. White phosphorus with sodium hydroxide can produce poisonous phosphorus gas and can auto ignite blowing up the meth lab. Other hazardous vapors may be associated with a meth lab, such as chloroform, ether, hydrochloric acid, methylamine, iodine, hydroiodic acid, lithium or sodium, mercury and hydrogen gas.
Some of the street names are:
Most common street names are “speed,” “meth” or “crank.”
Others not so common are: black beauties, blade, chalk, go-fast, Methlies Quick, Poor Man’s Cocaine — term used in the Phillipines, Shards, Tina (purer form), Tweak (rock form), Uppers, Yaba — Thai for Crazy Drug, Yellow Barn.
Crystalized meth is known as Ice, Crystal, Glass, Crystal Glass, Crystal Meth or Super Ice.
Smokable meth is referred to Hanyak, Hironpon, Cristy, Batu (Hawaiian term for rock form), LA Glass and LA Ice (pure without cuts), and Quartz.
Some of the street names or nicknames are for methamphetamine drug combinations:
Biker Coffee — coffee and methamphetamine
Croak, Shabu — cocaine and methamphetamine — Japanese term after WWII
Hugs and Kisses, Party and Play — MDMA and methamphetamine
Mexican Speed Balls, Twisters, Fire — crack cocaine and methamphetamine
The Five Way — meth, heroin, cocaine, rohypnol and alcohol
Today my daughter is 5 years clean from meth and she attends NAA meetings twice a day, sometimes even more if she is having a bad day. She is very active in the NAA groups of Las Vegas, Nev. She even attends the NAA conventions they hold once a year. Meth is a hard drug to get clean from without a lot of support. I am glad she has that support around her.
I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter. She is a better mother to her two daughters now.
Don’t use, abuse or be confused!
For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition contact chair, Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair, Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator, Misty Cisneros, (928) 425-1879; or media liaison, Lu DuBois, (928) 425-4440.