Meth: Not Even Once

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

Part One in a Three Part Series

In August of 2005, my home was targeted for burglary by two methamphetamine addicts. My oldest son happened to be home and was able to thwart the attempt; which was later characterized as a 'botched burglary' by the Officer on the scene. After installing a home security system, my attention was focused on the local methamphetamine epidemic; a profoundly addictive street drug.

According to the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Mexican 'Super Labs' in Tijuana are the source of 80% of all the meth sold in the United States. Methamphetamine production moved south of the border, due to an American crack down on Mexican-run labs coupled with legislation that disrupted large pseudoephedrine sales; a key ingredient in manufacturing the drug.

In the last five years, Mexican import of the cold remedy, pseudoephedrine has quadrupled. While Mexican authorities work to implement measures that decrease the import of pseduoephedrine, as well as control its distribution, the drug remains in strong supply at meth labs all over Tijuana. As sources from America dry up, Mexican drug cartels are importing it from Hong Kong.

Mexican Drug Cartels are engaged in a fierce battle on the border for control of meth distribution in American cities. These cartels will eliminate anyone standing in their way. In May of 2005, the Police Chief in Rosarita was gunned down. A month later, the Police Chief in Neuvo Laredo on the Texas border was killed during his first day on the job. Mexican drug cartels are spreading fear through murder and kidnapping as they attempt to turn Mexico into a drug state. Concurrent with the Mexican government's disruption of clandestine labs in Tijuana; labs in Argentina are on the rise. Global statistics show that methamphetamine usage worldwide is higher than heroin and cocaine use combined.

If you thought that the photo of a smoker's lung was bad, check out photos of 'meth mouth' online. They are beyond gruesome. While authorities work to curtail supply, stopping demand begins with the addict. Due to the profoundly addictive nature of the drug, most addicts go to treatment as a result of intervention. Among the disastrous side effects of long term methamphetamine abuse, is a change in the structure and function of the brain. Ending the abuse of the drug can reverse some, but not all of the structural changes. Everything related to methamphetamine amounts to a menace on society. Disability attorneys cite a rise in meth-related cases on their desks. Nationwide reports from law enforcement show an increase in the arrest of individuals with methamphetamine in their systems. The situation is grim, but the fight against this destructive drug is worth fighting.

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