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Meth is cockroach among illegal substances

kearneyHub.com, April 12, 2014

In the same sense that we sometimes wonder why Mother Nature gave the world cockroaches, it’s also normal to question why we have methamphetamine. Cockroaches are among the filthiest, most prolific pests in the world. Meth occupies a parallel spot in the hierarchy of illegal drugs.

Just as there’s hardly anything endearing about cockroaches, it is difficult to absorb why anyone would want to be mixed up with meth.

There’s nothing exotic about the stuff. Meth chefs need just a little pseudoephedrine from cold medicine, a 2-litre soda bottle and a few readily available chemicals to mix up a batch.

The problem is, making meth can be explosive and fiery, and can cause gruesome burns.

Meth-contaminated homes can cause sinus headaches, nosebleeds, breathing difficulties, and dry mouth and mouth sores, particularly in children.

If you are buying a home, you would be wise to check the Drug Enforcement Administration’s meth house registry. The list contains more than 21,000 addresses where the drug once was manufactured.

Cleaning a meth house can be expensive — $3,000 to $4,000 — or more, and there dare not be a speck of the drug left behind. That’s because even a piece the size of a grain of sand can prompt toxicology worries. But if you think meth does a number on homes and children, consider what it does to users.

Addicts travel a backward path through evolution. Normal, respectable people who use meth eventually develop into pitiful beings who rip off employers, friends and family members. They do whatever it takes to feed the addiction.

Users also suffer brutal physical ravages.

Just like breeding cockroaches, meth’s negative side effects multiply to inflict many others, and scientific, legislative and enforcement strategies seem not to make a dent in usage.

Federal law requires the key ingredient, pseudoephedrine cold medicine, to be kept behind the counter at pharmacies, but that’s just one finger poked in a leaky dike. Meth production is so profitable that Mexican cartels are making and smuggling the drug into the United States. The DEA estimates 80 percent of meth comes here from Mexico.

Barring a significant breakthrough, the future of meth seems as certain as that of the cockroach. Neither is likely to go away anytime soon.