small townSmall town America has seen a rise in drug activity. Places on the outskirts of big cities, or neighboring towns to highly active drug states are hit the hardest. Suburban towns keep ingredients needed for cooking meth in home labs, such as anhydrous ammonia. But is a drug like methamphetamine predominately a small town problem?

Many officials note that drugs like methamphetamine have spiked in suburban areas. Not only are ingredients available, the law enforcement patrolling those areas (deputies and sheriff’s offices) are not adequately equipped to handle a meth lab. The drug is easily cooked in makeshift labs with common kitchen sink ingredients found in every supermarket. The mixture of chemicals, though, create a danger for the house, its inhabitants, and the environment around. Explosions have been known to happen because of accidental chemical mixtures in meth labs.

To battle against meth labs, a detective must wear a hazmat suit that costs over $2500 – just to step safely into the home. Then, after confirmation that a lab exists, police have to guard the residence until a drug cleanup crew arrives, which can take over 36 hours in certain areas. With new meth labs showing up daily across the nation, police are slowly becoming overrun with meth cases.

Arrests are a new subject altogether. Police have trouble getting “meth heads” in cuffs. The effects of meth numb the body to feelings of pain. Law enforcement officials who face people under the influence of meth are in great physical danger, considering that tazer are rendered ineffective. Body size does not matter. When dealing with someone high on meth, it might take multiple people to hold down a person who might only weigh 125 pounds. While they cannot feel the pain, that does not mean damage is not being done to their bodies. Once the user comes down after a physical altercation with the police, they are often regretful of their actions. Jails are so backed up with people arrested for meth-related issues that it might take prosecutors a year or more to file charges, which introduces a problem since people cannot be held in jail after a certain amount of time. Officials need help just to keep up with the meth problem, let alone eradicate the issue altogether. Because of these problems, small towns are seeing an increase in meth production and use.

The Effects of Meth

Methamphetamine causes various things to happen in the body. It seriously depresses the body of nutrients needed to promote health. The mouth is deprived of salivas needed to protect the teeth from bacterias. This is what creates the “meth mouth” that is seen all over the internet. Without the enzymes in saliva battling against everyday dangers in the mouth, it can lose its overall health in a relatively short matter of time. Teeth will rot and eventually fall out. Cancers of the mouth can form due to extended meth use. Effects on the body are just as deadly. Though, as mentioned before, they cannot feel pain, they are often seen scratching their arms, believing that there are things crawling under their skin. Even to the point of causing sores along their arms and face. The users hair will eventually begin to fall out, their bodies will slim down at an alarming rate. In the past, due to this effect, methamphetamine was prescribed in small amounts as a weight loss agent for people who wanted to shed a few pounds. The high addiction rate and harmful effects of meth eventually shifted the focus to preventing use rather than encouraging it.

References

http://www.uky.edu/CommInfoStudies/IRJCI/reports/reportsmeth.htm