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Ohio ranks high for meth

Andy Ouriel • Nov 11, 2013 at 7:55 AM

And local law enforcement officials are growing accustomed to seizing these substances on a regular basis, arresting the people suspected of using them.

The makeup of meth, however, earns the drug a reputation as one of the most dangerous substances on the street. The drug is made from several potent chemicals, and it is readily available and cheap.

All of this greatly concerns area officials, who know full well the availability and usage of meth continues to surge in north-central Ohio.    A recent Huffington Post article spotlighting meth labs showed there are at least 630 in Ohio alone, among the highest number in the U.S.

Sandusky and Perkins Township are not immune.

“It’s not a big problem, yet,” Sandusky police Detective Lester Peters said. “But it’s something that could become a big problem. It’s slowly creeping this way.”

Meth has been popular because it is highly addictive and cheap. Heroin is another drug running rampant in area communities, but some of its users seem to be graduating to meth for a new and perhaps stronger high. The drug is also sensationalized to some degree in pop culture, including in the awardwinning TV show “Breaking Bad,” in which the main character, Walter White, produces and sells meth to support his family.

Police commanders are increasingly concerned about curbing meth usage, so they’re cultivating a network of informants to help them determine who’s using meth and how they’re obtaining it.

“We focus on any illegal drug,” Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said. “It’s just one of those drugs that are up and coming that we need to learn more about since we’re not familiar with it.”

So far this year, at least six local people have died from drug overdoses. Meth, of course, will only serve to increase this number.

“My concern is for anyone’s safety because of the volatility of it,” Orzech said.

Meth profile

• Definition: A synthetic stimulant affecting the central nervous system.

• Full name: Methamphetamine q#Nicknames: Ice, speed, chalk, crystal, glass, crank, yaba, fire, tina, tweak, poor man’s cocaine, uppers, trash, yellow bam, stove top, go-fast.

• Composition:

• Pseudoephedrine — it treats nasal and sinus congestion — a decongestant and a number of toxic ingredients, including: ‚ Ether, found in engine starter fluid. ‚ Ammonia nitrate, found in cold packs. ‚ Lithium, found in lithium batteries. ‚ Water.

• Production: It takes about 15 minutes to shake and bake a batch of meth in a plastic bottle, using mostly household ingredients.

• Form: White or yellowish crystalline powder, crystals or a pill.

• Use: Snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed.

• Symptoms: People stay up for days and become fidgety, paranoid and end up hallucinating.

• Addiction factor: Extreme. It’s one of the most addictive substances.

   Source: methproject.org

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