Meth Destroys

Meth drives identity theft, robbery and burglary crimes to finance the habits of addicts. 
Our jails and prisons are filled with addicts, who are very difficult to manage. 

  • Meth usage is up in Spokane.  At the needle exchange in Spokane, they see anywhere from 35 to 60 people an hour, exchanging 3,000-5,000 needles.  About 60% of the people the SRHD program serves chiefly use meth.  A few years ago, it was closer to 40%.  The increase in meth usage correlates with a rise in homelessness in Spokane and statewide.  "Methamphetamine is an appetite suppressant, and it keeps you awake.  If you're homeless and poor, that's a good reason to use meth.  For many people, chronic illnesses or homelessness are more acute crises than their drug use," said Caleb Banta-Green, a UW Institute researcher.

    "Being homeless, meth means I can walk around all night and not need to sleep," one user said."  Most users listed their chief health concern as something other than drug use, including mental health, pain, respiratory illness or chronic illnesses.  (source:  "Survey of users shows meth usage up across state," by Rachel Alexander, The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 19, 2018)  

3 Major Concerns

1.  Use of Meth damages the body, mind and brain
Meth destroys teeth (called Meth Mouth) resulting from the corrosive chemicals in the drug and poor oral hygiene.  All teeth are decayed and rotten to the gum line. 

Meth can be swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected.  Meth is a powerful stimulant which produces a “rush” and euphoria.  The effects of meth last much longer than those from cocaine, yet it generally costs less. 

Children born to meth-abusing mothers are likely to have neurological damage.  Babies are smaller, nervous systems are affected, and they are born premature.  Addicted parents love and care for their next high more than they care for their children. 

The high from meth is quick and can last from 6 hours to days.  It impacts the part of the brain that is important for making decisions, which stops working.  (This is different than cocaine and heroine.) 

Meth permanently damages the brain, leaves sores on the body’s skin, and makes you itchy and delusional.  Meth spots on the body are very painful. 

2.  Manufacture of Meth 

Meth labs are an addiction-driven crime.  Meth is not a fad—it’s an epidemic. 

Making meth is extremely dangerous—both for those who cook the meth and for law enforcement.  Meth can be made in a few hours by addicts.  The addicts are often heavily armed, and set up booby-traps and bombs.  The fumes in meth labs put paramedics, fire fighters, and law enforcement in harm’s way, destroying their lung tissue. 

10# of hazardous waste results from making 1# of meth. 

Meth has been the #1 drug of choice in Spokane, and the fastest growing drug problem in Washington.  In 2005, Spokane reported the 2nd highest number of meth labs in Washington State.   In 2001, Washington State reported the 3rd highest number of meth labs and drug chemical dump sites in the U.S.

3.  Distribution of Meth

The demand for meth is strong, because the rate of relapse is as high as 90%.  

Using and distributing meth in Spokane County can bring a 14 year sentence in prison. 

Mexican drug gangs now produce 80% of the meth consumed in the U.S, of which much is distributed in Washington neighborhoods.  Mexican “ice” (which is usually smoked) is a more concentrated form of meth.  It only costs 20 cents to produce $20 worth of meth. 
  • Federal agents and hospitals are seeing more meth.  Meth is making a comeback in Washington state.  Federal agents seized 400# of meth this year.  There are concerns that the drug is claiming hep less babies born addicted to meth.  Authorities say the majority of meth is no longer cooked in the U.S.    “Federal Agents and Hospitals are Seeing More Meth,”     Reporter Jen York, KREM News, July 22, 2015

What You Can Do

  • Meth Homes.  Over 600 homes in Spokane County have been polluted by residents cooking methamphetamine from 1998 to 2008.  Those are only the homes police raided and boarded up—undoubtedly, meth has been cooked in many other homes, leaving them caked with the toxic reside of the manufacturing process, leaving them uninhabitable.  This puts every potential buyer at risk of purchasing a home containing an extreme health risk. 
  • Home owners may have their homes tested for meth residue by obtaining a Meth Test kit from:   
Morse Environmental, Inc.
1402 Auburn Way N, #211
Auburn, WA   98002
(253) 887-1550
Fax:  253-887-1449
Emergency telephone number:  (253) 347-3880
  • Parents must secure cold medications which are widely used to make meth.
  • Gather photos of meth addicts to show children.
  • For a school assembly—Apply makeup and tooth cosmetics to teen volunteers, and then take pictures of them as in senior pictures, or a wedding dress, showing the affect of meth on physical appearance. 
  • Urge lawmakers to see that all homes sold in our County and State are inspected for toxic meth residue.  Homes become inhabitable after meth has been produced in them, due to an extreme health risk.  Meth production involves potentially volatile chemicals that can leave hazardous residues.  Cooking coats surfaces with oily residue, and airborne dust particles can spread it.  A clean-up lab is needed to strip the carpet, ventilation system, and even the kitchen sink—all to clear out residue from the meth former occupants cooked there.  Washington law forbids living in certain meth lab sites discovered by authorities until the property is cleaned or demolished.  The estimated cost to clean up a 1,200 sq.ft. drug lab in a house is over $6,000.    
  • Learn about Meth:
Meth code names:  crank, ice, crystal, Tina, glass

Psychotic symptoms can last 5 years after meth use.

Meth relapse rate is 92% higher than that of cocaine.

Meth may cause permanent nerve damage.

Meth users risk developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Meth use symptoms are:  skin welts (called crank bugs), itchy skin, delusions, hallucinations, and uncontrollable twitching.

Meth withdrawal is physically painful.

Teens are good at lying and hiding their meth use.   
  • Learn how to identify meth houses in your neighborhood:
A lot of cars coming non-stop and staying 3-8 minutes.

A lot of cars on days when many people are paid, the 1st, 5th, 15th and 20th of the  month.  The busiest day will be Thursday, gearing up for the weekend.  

A lot of garbage.  They don’t have trash picked up. 

A flag on one side of the house to indicate if the lab is open or closed (or red and green lights, or construction cones). 

Call 911 to report the license plates of strange cars.

Call CPS to report unattended children.

Call EPA about garbage piling up, and the possibility of toxic chemicals which are being dumped down drains or in river beds. 

Local Organizations
Additional Resources
  • Spokane County Meth Action Team meetings.  They meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8:30-10 a.m. at the Spokane Regional Health District, Rooms 320-321, 1101 W. College Avenue.  For more information, call (509) 922-8383.

  • Drug Rehab
    Addiction to drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs.  Their mission is to equip patients and families with the best information, resources and tools to overcome addition and lead a lifelong recovery.