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Archive for Sunday, March 4, 2012

Losing the meth war

With one-pot method, anyone with $30 can create the illegal drug, as well as the devastation it brings

Montgomery County Sheriff Bobby Dierks walks through a ramshackle farmhouse Feb. 24 that he says is a hot spot for methamphetamine cooks. Kansas has seen a surge in meth-lab incidents, from 143 in 2010 to 187 in 2011. Officials attribute the increase to the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method of preparing the drug.

Montgomery County Sheriff Bobby Dierks walks through a ramshackle farmhouse Feb. 24 that he says is a hot spot for methamphetamine cooks. Kansas has seen a surge in meth-lab incidents, from 143 in 2010 to 187 in 2011. Officials attribute the increase to the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method of preparing the drug.

March 4, 2012

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Editor's note: This is day one of a two-part feature on meth in southeast Kansas.

DEARING, KAN. — Drive through this small town, population 400, and people still wave and give a little honk.

The Resurgence of Meth

Officials in southeast Kansas talk about the recent spike in methamphetamine use. They believe it can be attributed to the "one-pot" or "shake and bake" method. Enlarge video

Related feature

Meth, by the numbers

A look at the number of meth lab incidents reported locally, statewide, and across the country. Statistics provided by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The basics of meth

What is it?

A central nervous stimulant drug that is typically in a white powder form, or sometimes in small crystals. Users of meth can swallow, snort, smoke or inject the drug. The drug initially produces a euphoric rush — similar to cocaine — by increasing the amount of dopamine, a chemical in the brain. Meth was first created in the late 1800s and saw its first use as a medication for narcolepsy in the 1940s. Meth labs creating the drug for illicit purposes can be traced back to the 1980s, but the Drug Enforcement Agency didn’t began tracking national statistics until 1986.

Effects

Increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid and irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and hyperthermia. Negative effects include weight loss, dental problems — or “meth mouth” — anxiety, confusion, insomnia, violent behavior, paranoia and delusions.

Other dangers

The drug is made through a series of chemical reactions of volatile ingredients, which can cause devastating fires. Though law enforcement says it’s difficult to give numbers on how many other crimes are meth-related, in meth-infested communities, robberies, burglaries and other violent crimes are associated with the drug. The Kansas 2005 Matt Samuels Act, which limited the amount of pseudoephedrine someone can purchase in the state, was named after a Greenwood County sheriff killed in 2005 when he entered a meth lab. The man who shot him admitted to being on meth when the shooting occurred.

How is it made?

Originally, meth lab producers needed larger labs, often located in rural areas, to produce the drug using pseudoephedrine. The “Nazi” or “Birch” method uses anhydrous ammonia, while the “Red P” method uses red phosphorus. Newer methods include the “one-pot” method, which requires less pseudoephedrine but neither red phosphorus or anhydrous ammonia, and can be made using commonly found products such as lithium batteries and garden fertilizer.

How prevalent?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 0.1 percent, or 353,000, of Americans age 12 or older had used meth in the past month. That number is down from 0.3 percent, or 731,000, in 2006. Statistics from the DEA show meth lab seizures peaked in the early 2000s and declined until 2008. The numbers peaked in 2004 at 17,274 seizures, dropped to 5,389 in 2007, but have risen ever since. In 2011, there were 10,069 reported meth lab seizures.

Where does Kansas rank?

In 2011, Kansas ranked 14th in the country in meth lab seizures with 187. Missouri led the country with 2,092, followed by Indiana with 1,238 and Tennessee with 1,140. Oklahoma ranked fifth with 849.

County profiles

• Montgomery

Population: 35,453

Unemployment rate: 8.6 percent

Median household income: $40,603

Poverty level: 14.8 percent

• Crawford

Population: 38,985

Unemployment rate: 6.8 percent

Median household income: $35,386

Poverty level: 17.7 percent

• Cherokee

Population: 21,740

Unemployment rate: 6.7 percent

Median household income: $48,319

Poverty level: 17.5 percent

• Labette

Population: 21,791

Unemployment rate: 8.6 percent

Median household income: $39,049

Poverty level: 15.5 percent

A small, brick fire station, a few stores and modest single-story houses are about all there is to the town located five miles from the Oklahoma border.

Law enforcement, however, will tell you that Dearing is a hot spot for the methamphetamine production and use that plague a four-county region in southeast Kansas.

“Got a lab out of that one in January,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Bobby Dierks, pointing to a rundown house in an otherwise quiet Dearing neighborhood.

A few blocks down, Dierks pulls his Toyota Tundra into the driveway of a dilapidated house with “methamphetamine lab” warning signs posted on the windows and doors.

Around the corner, Dierks points to a mobile home where authorities busted a meth lab earlier this year.

Talk to people in law enforcement in neighboring counties and they tell similar stories about an explosion of meth use and production in Kansas towns such as Parsons, Pittsburg, Independence, Caney and Coffeyville.

“If you arrest one guy, chances are there are five guys down the street doing it,” said Christopher Williams, a drug detective with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s no shortage of people who are manufacturing methamphetamine.”

In 2011, Montgomery, Labette, Cherokee and Crawford counties, which border Oklahoma and Missouri in southeast Kansas, were responsible for 129 of 187 of the state’s meth lab incidents, which include lab, dump site and other material seizures.

The region’s pharmacists, pediatricians, police, prosecutors and treatment providers say they’re steeped in a growing war against meth — and are losing — as they try to fight crafty drug makers and a burgeoning epidemic.

Better pay attention, Kansas, they warn.

Patient zero

Law enforcement in Labette County, home to the city of Parsons, started seeing what’s known as the “one-pot,” or “shake and bake,” meth labs soon after Gary O’Hara, 37, was released from an Oklahoma prison.

Since 1994, O’Hara has spent the majority of his life in Oklahoma prisons for manufacturing and distributing meth.

Somewhere along the line, O’Hara learned the one-pot method, which is simpler than older meth production methods and requires much less pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medicine needed to manufacture the drug. Police say the one-pot method revolutionized meth production overnight.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections prison photo of Gary O'Hara. Police believe O'Hara taught others in southeast Kansas how to make meth via the "one-pot" or "shake and bake" method.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections prison photo of Gary O'Hara. Police believe O'Hara taught others in southeast Kansas how to make meth via the "one-pot" or "shake and bake" method.

Labs of the past, which peaked in the area and the country in the early 2000s, produced a strong smell, and cooks needed remote areas to avoid detection.

But with the one-pot method, anyone with $30 can make meth in a garage, a house or car.

“Everything you need you can buy at Walmart,” said Scott Gofourth, deputy police chief of the Parsons Police Department.

Go online and you’ll find detailed guides on how to make the drug.

The process involves adding ingredients to a bottle, such as a 2-liter plastic soda bottle, along with a host of other easy-to-obtain products, such as the lithium strips in batteries. The “shake and bake” term refers to the step in the process when the bottle is shaken, igniting a range of chemical reactions. If you’re good at it, you’ll have meth in an hour. If you’re unlucky, a blaze will pierce the bottle, shooting streams of flaming liquid.

In April 2010, law enforcement from several jurisdictions in southeast Kansas conducted a month-long investigation into meth production at a Parsons motel.

The investigation netted six arrests, including O’Hara, who police believe was the ring-leader. It’s also believed O’Hara, while in the area, taught others the one-pot method. Police had been hearing about the one-pot method for a few months, but the O’Hara sting was their first, up-close experience with the new method.

In less than two years since O’Hara’s arrest, the number of one-pot labs has shot up across the region. Labette County had five incidents in 2010 but 34 in 2011, statistics mirrored in Montgomery, Cherokee and Crawford counties.

Lawrence police say they have yet to see the one-pot method, and Douglas County has seen a drop in meth lab incidents since 2001, recording just two in 2011.

But as O’Hara showed, all it takes is one person to spread the recipe throughout a community.

In Montgomery County, Williams said they’re building a case on a manufacturer who they believe has taught at least seven people the one-pot method.

“You can bet they’ve shown seven other people,” Williams said. “It just mushrooms from there.”

O’Hara was charged with meth manufacturing but was released from Labette County Jail on a $100,000 bond in 2010. On Christmas Day 2010, police allege, O’Hara stole a truck from a dealership in Broken Arrow, Okla. Two months later, police pulled O’Hara over for not wearing his seat belt.

Inside the truck cab, police found two shake-and-bake labs, as well as marijuana, Xanax and Oxycodone. O’Hara is awaiting trial on numerous charges in Tulsa County, Okla.

Parsons

Quickly shuffling through a crowded office at the Labette County Health Department, pediatrician Manish Dixit works through his list of patients. The office is filled with baby photos, the waiting room with crying kids.

The pediatrician’s office is always full, says the receptionist, and the wait long. A middle-aged woman in a nurse’s outfit helps Dixit coordinate patients, and she makes it clear the children are the No. 1 priority.

“The newspaperman will have to wait,” she barks.

Dixit has to sneak into a back office to talk. While law enforcement count the toll of meth use in arrests and lab seizures, Dixit counts it in lives destroyed.

He begins a somber discussion of how the drug has devastated an entire generation of families in the area.

“Parents will be on the high when they come in,” says Dixit, describing the telltale signs of spacey, restless and agitated adults bringing children in for treatment.

Then there are the pregnant ones.

Meth use can cause an abruption of the placenta, Dixit says, and you end up with babies being delivered in driveways.

“Mothers aborting on a regular basis,” he says.

The babies who survive are plagued with lifelong physical and psychological problems, Dixit says.

Dixit’s office makes referrals to child protective services.

“But they keep shifting from doctor to doctor, and there’s no tracking,” Dixit says.

A couple of years ago, Dixit teamed up with law enforcement, a pharmacist and city officials to work on a city ordinance requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine. In 2011, Parsons became the first and only municipality in the state to do so.

Gofourth, also a strong advocate for the ordinance — effective July 1 — said the numbers show it’s made a dent in the fight against meth.

In the first six months of 2011, his department saw about 25 meth lab incidents, but just 10 in the last six months of the year.

The problem? Meth makers who need pseudoephedrine simply go to neighboring communities, collecting the drug in a process known as “smurfing.”

Teams of people load up in vans and scour the region, buying up their monthly allotment of pseudoephedrine, 3.6 grams per purchase or 9 grams per month, from pharmacies.

It’s a common practice across southeast Kansas, police say.

“There is a lot of people out there who purchase pseudoephedrine just to sell it,” said Williams, the drug detective. The going price can reach $50 for a $5 box. “You can make a lot of money doing that.”

A 2005 Kansas law, the Matthew Samuels Act, placed the restrictions on pseudoephedrine purchasing in an attempt to reduce production. It worked — for a while.

In 2001, police reported 847 meth lab incidents in Kansas, and that number dropped to 583 by 2004. Since 2005, those numbers have continued to plummet, until recently. In 2010, the state reported 143 incidents but 187 in 2011.

“We’re definitely going back up,” said Loretta Severin, drug strategy coordinator for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. “Mostly that’s attributed to the one-pot method.”

As the one-pot method has risen in popularity, smurfing has resurfaced, Severin said.

“It’s kind of an institutional culture down there,” said Severin, citing the close proximity to two states, Missouri and Oklahoma, that rank high in meth production and use.

While Kansas limits the amount of pseudoephedrine someone can purchase, the computer tracking system that helps pharmacies monitor buys, tracks only purchases in each state. So, someone could make a loop from Missouri to Oklahoma to Kansas, and net a nice quantity of the drug in a short time, Severin said.

Have a few fake IDs and it’s even easier.

A Montgomery County sheriff's notice is posted to the window of a home in Independence, Kan. where a methamphetamine lab was seized.

A Montgomery County sheriff's notice is posted to the window of a home in Independence, Kan. where a methamphetamine lab was seized.

‘Meth trash’

Dierks, the Montgomery County Sheriff, cruises through the back roads that cut through the fields of his county, just north of Independence, the county seat.

He’s on the hunt for what he calls “meth trash,” what drug makers leave behind in abandoned sheds, barns and houses. Any meth-related materials are considered dangerous and toxic, and law enforcement often bears much of the burden of disposing of the waste. It can cost thousands in materials, and more in man hours, to clean up a site, which occasionally goes up in flames.

He pulls up to an abandoned house in the middle of a bean and wheat field, once owned by a guy named “Smith,” Dierks said. There was a barn, but some meth makers burned it down a few years ago.

Dierks storms through the house, which looks like it was hit by a tornado. He says this is one of the many spots around the county they’ve busted over the years. He warns about nails, and plows through the house scanning for evidence of recent activity. A couple of empty cans of Red Bull litter the walkway. Inside he finds an empty 2-liter Pepsi bottle, most likely older meth trash, he says.

Back on the road, Dierks stops by a friend’s farm, and helps the rancher corral a few cows that have wandered out through an open gate. Then it’s back on the road. As he drives, Dierks talks about the hard-working people he’s seen devastated by meth, something that’s become generational. Guys he went to high school with got wrapped up in it, and now they’re arresting the sons of those men, who went to school with his kids.

As Dierks cruises along another country road, pointing out more abandoned drug houses, he doesn’t swerve for a dead carcass on the gravel road.

“Groundhog,” he says. A few moments later: “Guess he didn’t see his shadow.”

Why southeast Kansas?

Southeast Kansas is a hub of meth activity. In 2010, Crawford County had 40 meth seizures alone.

Southeast Kansas is a hub of meth activity. In 2010, Crawford County had 40 meth seizures alone.

Local law enforcement report they have yet to see the one-pot meth methods that have infiltrated southeast Kansas.

Why meth and the one-pot method is focused in southeast Kansas is subject to different theories from those entrenched in the fight against it.

“There’s no one reason for that,” Severin said.

When the larger labs started showing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they hid in rural communities, such as southeast Kansas, Severin said. But why hasn’t it been seen in other parts of Kansas?

“Is western Kansas rural? Absolutely,” Severin said. “But we don’t see near the numbers.”

Steve Wilhoft, an assistant attorney general who prosecutes large drug cases in southeast Kansas, cites the low socio-economic status of the region; cheap drugs and cheap ways to make a little extra money in a depressed economy can prove attractive to poorer Kansans. While there are other poor counties in Kansas, this region claims the high percentages of residents below the poverty line, between about 15 percent and 18 percent, well above the state’s 12.4 percent average. Unemployment rates are also higher in the region than the state’s 5.9 percent unemployment rate. Labette and Montgomery counties, for instance, are near 9 percent.

Williams, the detective, mentions the region’s proximity to Tulsa, burdened with its own significant meth problems. Easy to spread a little north, he said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we’re going to see,” Williams said. “If the people of Douglas County don’t think that this is coming, they’re wrong.”

Comments

StopMethLabscom 2 years, 1 month ago

Well boys and girls " Meth Proof Pseudoephedrine " is here and just passed all DEA test and here is the link to the story. The bad part is it will still take a prescription law to get the pseudoephedrine makers to put this technology in all their products because they make over a billion dollars a year just off the meth cook market. http://kplr11.com/2012/03/08/new-allergy-medicine-could-end-meth-problem

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SEK_rancher 2 years, 1 month ago

As a Southeast Kansas farmer and cattle rancher I have dealt first hand with the effects of Meth through neighbors getting involved in it, finding remains of a lab in our remote pastures and river property and having Anhydrous Amonia stolen from the tank that sat idle in our front yard for just a few brief hours during the busy planting season. It is fairly easy to blame a political party however, the reality of the situation is it has been a problem since the Clinton admin. It just slowed down while Bush was in office primarily because of the handling techniques used by farmers with the Anhydrous. With the new technique not using the Anhydrous it has helped take the strain off of the farmers, however, we are still having problems with people utilizing our remote back roads to mfg. their product. Unfortunately I have seen people fall victim to this drug that come from both Democrat and Republicans beliefs, atheists and Catholics, "trailer trash", preachers sons and doctors kids. As my mother is a teacher she often sees the effects on children in the school system due to Meth. As we are a Rural county we do not have the resources and funding to patrol a county that may very well be 600 square miles. This leaves two to three duputies to patrol on their own with three to four city officers to patrol the major cities per shift. I believe the best way to stop the problem would be a country wide ban on pseudo ephedrine without prescription and also create a country wide data base that tracks purchases that operate off of a scanned, state issued ID to help eliminate the fake ID's. However as we are finding the manufacturers will just find another way to get around it. Whatever the solution I can only hope it comes soon. I very well written article Mr. Hittle.

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mikekt 2 years, 1 month ago

Two unfunded wars (one of which was based on deliberately falsely presented reasons) where we partner with corrupt regimes (The Heroin High-Way runs right thru Afghanistan), unfunded tax cuts to all, a ridiculous Part D Drug program where our government is not allowed to bargain the price of drugs down, as a major "trapped customer", non stop bailouts for the gambling banks ( A.K. Investment Banks ) since 1995, by both parties, financial modernization acts that encourage the so called Investment Banks to take unreasonable risks thru deregulation to the point of criminality. Yes, our economy is a mess, as a result of "Long Term Dumb Behavior" by We The People, who trusted the wrong group of people to run it. That's an obvious! The mess that we are in is encouraging people to Use Drugs As An Escape, which converts to Addiction & Drug Dealing / Production, to feed their habits. We live in a society that seems to glorify the alcoholic - drug addicted personal model of life & those that the media presents to our people as sophisticated or as nonconformists who do their own thing and thumb there nose at the rest of us. The be like me stoners. Somebody should explain to most kids that they will be unlikely to $ afford the costly lifestyle that addicts who are rich $ rock, country or hip-hop rap stars, movie stars or wealthy conservative radio show hosts like Rush Limbaugh (who once went as far as to say that drug addicts should be locked up for life...why is that hypocrite still on the radio?) can afford. They go to expensive rehabs! They can afford the best lawyers & skirt jail because they seldom have to deal, steal or distribute, to stay high! Their rich! Your kids probably aren't $ rich! And we pay for their lifestyles by supporting their media incomes. Poor folks go to jail & are way down on the food chain when they come out. They got no recording studio, movies set or talk radio show to go back to, until their next rehab event. I don't think that most young people get that or that jail is the end destination for them if they try to live like the "silver spooned stars" of our society. By the way, an awful lot of people who end up in jail for violent robing and stealing, were multiply high when they did the deeds that put them into prison. Most people don't fully comprehend that the future is based on choices made, till their 30s. Kids may physically look like adults but their brains don't get it about emulating media idiots. So, adults need to take the time to explain to them that society is not going to treat them like the people that they idealize in the media, who seem to be teflon coated ( They are more or less financially teflon coated ). Hey, as long as people can make a great living encouraging others to live as if self destruction & jail isn't a basic long term outcome of drug and alcohol abuse, they are going to sell that lifestyle to others and laugh all the way to the bank, their dealer or next rehab, etc..

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graylanternlizard 2 years, 1 month ago

Pseudoephedrine needs to deemed a scheduled drug in the State of Kansas. Simple-> obtained by prescription only.

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methlabhomescom 2 years, 1 month ago

Keep in mind that police estimate they may only be busting 1 to 3% of all of the meth labs that exist, all of which are contaminated with toxic meth lab chemicals. Before you buy or rent, be sure the home or apartment wasn't used to make meth, ESPECIALLY if you have young children or your pregnant. Chronic exposure to low levels of meth lab chemicals can cause serious health problems, some of which are life threatening. I hear from people who were sold or rented contaminated meth lab homes, all the time, even in states with meth lab disclosure laws. As with other laws, disclosure laws only work when people adhere to them. Be especially careful when buying a bank foreclosure or buying or renting a government-owned property. For more information about former meth lab homes, some of which includes info about the illness and financial problems they cause to innocent people, please visit my website methlabhomes.com .

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

naw....there is no linking as some uninformed trolls state.....it's a reality.....how many churches do I see in rural Kansas and Oklahoma? how little economic opportunity is there in these backwaters that republicans, tea partiers and trolls feed off of like vampires of fear. It's easy to rightly assign blame to republicans because they ignore real issues and deceive people with god, guns, illegals, and abortion, and let these places go to hades. By using the tranformation misnomer, Falseintelligencenoclue, you ignore that your minions of distraction did much of the damage that is taking much work by the Obama Administration to dig out of all the while the dimwits of lunacy hope that the rural uninformed buy the above tried and true distractions and stay in misery to always be exploited by the vampires of fear.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

This sort of article strains out the true-blue far-left screwballs who try to link the meth scourge with Repubs/Christians/Capitalists etc take-your-pick- you-get-what-I-mean. And this forum has a good handful of 'em. Like me blaming drunk drivers on Democrats.

Wow!

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

autie, I guess the industrial park sign I see near the train track on the way to Caney on 75 means there's no industrial sign there. I've been on backroads on K 39 and K 47, I've driven from Toronto Lake to Sedan entirely on dirt roads taking pictures on stolen Osage lands in the Flint Hills in places like Longton and Elk Falls and over to Chautaqua. I've driven through Weir, Cherokee, West Mineral, and Treece. I've taken K-7 all the way to the Oklahoma border. You know where Elgin or Severy or Galesburg, Kansas is? or better yet Kincaid or Mildred? Parsons lost the ammo plant I used to deliver computers to. Or all of the businesses closed along K-160 to US 75 in Independence. Yes I see many oil wells going between Welda and Colony and the flag on the top of the plant at Chanute but many of these towns are one closure away from disaster. Remember Winfield, Kansas, and all of it's closures?

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autie 2 years, 1 month ago

As an SEK'er...yes the meth is rampant. It is generational in the sense that the poverty class involved generally come from a long line of poverty. However I truly believe they would be doing it regardless of the local economies. It would appear some paint with a very broad brush also. Tuschkahouma and Big B...you're drive by analysis is a bit off base. Amazon if far from a "warehoue". It is a major distribution center. There is no cement industry in Parsons. There is no industrial park south of Independence. That is the Cessna plant. And to say the everything packed up for Juarez is just plain wrong. The local manfacturing base in most of these cities are currently on an upswing and all the local economies are anxious for the upcoming pipeline work that will be coming into Kansas over by Ft. Scott and entering Oklahoma by Caney. There is lots of meth, no doubt...and it sucks. But don't let that overshadow the good. There are a lot of decent hardworking folks down here..well, except for maybe Virgil helicopter Peck.

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EJ Mulligan 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, Shaun and LJW, for excellent reporting. Articles like this are what make local newspapers so valuable.

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Liberty275 2 years, 1 month ago

Someplace I read the definition of insanity is performing the same action again and again while expecting a different outcome each time. If that is true, the war on drugs, including killers like meth and crack, is insanity. We put men on the moon. You would think we could come up with a system that allows personal freedom while keeping each individual educated regarding the effects drugs are having on their bodies and intervening when medically necessary.

People are going to do meth. Do you want them to get garbage cooked up in a coke bottle or in a lab? Meth is horrid. Meth cooked up by some illiterate hick without regard for the safety of their customers or the environment is 1000 times worse. The choice is simple.

When was the last time we had widespread lead poisoning from booze condensed in a soldered radiator? 1930 something?

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Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 1 month ago

Please see my comment underneath the video.

Tuschkahoma, your comments are right on.

And I agree with merril's comment as well. And autie's point is very well taken: Interview some users, see what has happened to these people that they have had to take this route.

StopMethLabsCom has a very important point: there should be laws in every state that make it very difficult to get the ingredients.

I'm very glad that Shawn Hittle is doing this series!

The only thing is, it needs to be on the web page of every paper in the state, and especially in schools.

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LJ Whirled 2 years, 1 month ago

Southeast Kansas is the new Appalachia. For decades, it had been supported by small manufacturing plants in the "junior college" towns ... Chanute, Parsons, Iola, Fort Scott, etc. Those plants are literally and physically being moved to Juarez, emptying those towns of their young, hard-working families, and leaving behind throngs of gub'munt dependent Free Cheesers.

Ascribe them to any politicians you wish, but the only things in SEK boosted by the 'free trade' policies of NAFTA and our soul-sellout to China, were the number of factories that closed and the number of towns that were doomed to a rapid decline into poverty, to be followed by a slow death. .... well, there was one exception: Coffeyville has a big Amazon.com warehouse, used by the Chinese and Mexican to ship stuff back to us.

Point: the meth is a symptom. The growing poverty belt in Southeast Kansas is going to be a drag on the rest of the state as its decline accelerates in the next few years.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

math....clueless as usual. I went through this area to OKC a week or so ago. These areas were company towns. Cement in Parsons and Chanute, Oil in Coffeyville, and small company factories in lots of other 6,000 to 10,000 person towns. You see a half full industrial park on the north side of Coffeyville and an industrial park south of Independence. One goes into the former railroad, mining, and ranching ghost towns where poor people seek affordable housing and have to drive 40 or 50 miles to find work and nobody pays worthwhile wages and voila one has to create extra income. I knew someone back in the day who would drive from Neodesha to Johnson County, Kansas everyday to find work that paid enough to survive. What's funny is that the majority of the population in this area in white or white/native american. They buy into the right wing churchlican view of minorities even though many other White people view them as White trash. My parent was a minister in a southeast Kansas county that was probably 95% White and had meth labs found in the county seat two blocks from the county courthouse. SRS listed this county as the 103rd most wealthy out of 105 counties a decade ago and the county was mostly republican....oh the hypocracy and denial of Kansas.....right math....

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Kyle Chandler 2 years, 1 month ago

Nice to see the Fox News people out today...

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

The Obama's "New America" is "transforming" nicely.

Keep up the good work.

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beatrice 2 years, 1 month ago

jkilgore: "Where have efforts been successful to curb the use of meth?"

Answer: Portugal. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

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autie 2 years, 1 month ago

At least local production discourages imports so it keeps the dollar stronger. One of the local sports is to go to the WalMarts and play 'spot the tweakers". Which is pretty easy...few teeeth, pock marked faces, tardive dyskenesia out the gazoo...lip smackin, hair pullin fools. Hittle, you ought to be interviewing some user/makers...it might give you an interesting perspective. Math, if you think this scourage is limited predominantly to white trash...you are dead wrong.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 1 month ago

It could be that meth lab people moved from Oregon and Mississippi to neighboring states then transport the goods back to their customer base.

This meth is addictive big time and quickly so I read.

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Armstrong 2 years, 1 month ago

I saw a list of ingredients for meth on line some time ago. Drano, Anhydrous ammionia, to name a couple. And people really want to put that in their bodies ? That is beyond dumb

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Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 1 month ago

Where have efforts been successful to curb the use of meth? Is there any area regionally or nationally that has answer to help slow this down?

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thuja 2 years, 1 month ago

How badly does the world need the main ingredient, pseudoephedrine ?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 1 month ago

The destruction of the job market by way of Bush/Cheney and the banking industry will further encourage meth lab employment.

Until the government restores the millions of jobs lost people will be looking for ways to generate income. Decriminalize marijuana which would allow more resources to be devoted to the truly dangerous element of the black market drug industry.

Decriminalize marijuana is the practical and sensible approach. Allow users to grow their own.

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