What is methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (meth, ice, crystal, glass, speed, chalk, or tina) is a highly addictive, man-made drug that stimulates the pleasure section of the brain. Meth has historically been used as a stimulant throughout several decades, but in more recent years, use has surged as purity increases and the extreme high intensifies.
Because meth can be made from common household items, small laboratories can be set up in a variety of locations to make, or "cook", the drug. In Utah, the number of labs has decreased dramatically to only 3 reported labs in 2007 (in comparison to 77 in 2003)*. This is likely because much of the meth production has shifted to "super labs" in Mexico.
However, meth use remains a large problem in Utah. Individuals seeking treatment for meth is roughly 28% of all substance abuse treatment program admissions. Of those in treatment, nearly 75% are women and mothers.
Meth affects everyone. Meth is associated with identity theft, abuse, and criminal activity in general. Meth is a contributing factor to domestic violence, neglect, and abuse of children. Child Protective Services can quickly become overburdened. Additional training and equipment for police, fire, and emergency response personnel cost taxpayer money.
Homes and properties contaminated with meth can cost thousands of dollars to clean. Business can lose money from loss of productivity, crimes and illness. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B &C, dental care addiction treatment, are often associated with meth use.
*Reported to the Drug Enforcement Agency