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Methamphetamine in Our Community - Introduction

meth foilMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/22/13) – SurfKY News and Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee have partnered in an attempt to raise awareness of the Meth problem that is currently going on throughout the state of Kentucky. Sheriff McGehee has agreed to submit a weekly article series in which we will share knowledge of the issue, and ways to put a stop to the constantly growing Meth production, sales and usage.
 
The following is the first in this series of articles by Sheriff McGehee.
 
Some time ago I had spoken about the dangers associated with using methamphetamine and someone approached me when the presentation was over and mentioned that she wasn’t familiar with the drug, and though she knew it was in the area; she didn’t realize that it was so common.
 
I explained that she wasn’t alone, and the community in general is often unaware of meth, short for methamphetamine, and its effects upon our society. While most of us have some knowledge of the drug, I doubt that any of us fully realize just how dangerous that it is.
 
It is my desire that this weekly article will help readers to become well informed of the drug and its negative impact on the community.
 
Methamphetamine is often found in a powder or crystal form. For years the most common form of meth in Muhlenberg County was the powder type, sometimes referred to as anhydrous dope, by meth cooks (those that manufacture the drug). This type of meth is a fine powdery substance that will vary in color. Cooking methods vary, and so do the color of the cold pills that are used, so meth may not always look the same. I have seen white, reddish to reddish brown, and yellowish to cream colors, all confiscated in Muhlenberg County.
 
The powder form of the drug continues to be manufactured in this area. However, new state laws now limit the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine (ingredients found in some cold and allergy medications) to seven grams per person each month. This makes it more difficult to produce the drug in large amounts.
 
Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is just the beginning of the lists of ingredients found in the meth recipe. Starting fluid, anhydrous ammonia, lithium battery acid and drain opener, are commonly used in this concoction that is sometimes called a “witches brew.” It is worth noting that, while ingredients previously mentioned are the most common in this area, other recipes include a list of toxic chemicals that may include, but would not be limited to; red devil lye, iodine, heet, camping fuel, paint thinner, sulfuric acid and even gun blue.
 
Meth labs, by nature, are volatile and should be considered highly toxic and potentially dangerous.
 
The other form of meth that has increased in popularity in our area is crystal meth. Before the laws regulating the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were in place, it was very uncommon to find methamphetamine in crystal form here in the county. This type of meth is most often developed in super labs in Mexico and occasionally in California. It is now common to find the crystal form of meth in this area and across the state, as it is being imported in large quantities. Some drug officers feel that even though production of the powder drug is down in this area, the use of meth is still a problem. The powder drug is simply being replaced by the crystal form, in many instances.
 
Crystal meth, as one might imagine, often looks like small pieces of crystal, or pieces of glass. It may be known as glass, crystal, ice, rock candy, etc.
 
Methamphetamine, regardless of form, is not just another drug; it is lethal and should not be underestimated. Most users are addicted the first time they experience it. Because of its addictiveness and the fact that it is easily accessible, it has increased in popularity.
 
Methamphetamine will not just go away. It must be challenged. Working together as a community we must take steps to overcoming this critical drug situation. I strongly encourage our community to become well-informed, and to get involved.
 
You can report illegal drug activity by contacting your local law enforcement agency.
 
In Muhlenberg County, you may call 1-888-959-8477 or report a tip on line at www.muhlenbergcountysheriff.com.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Sheriff Curtis McGehee

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