rotten > Library > Crime > Drugs > Methamphetamine|
"Who wouldn't want to use it? You lose weight and you have great sex." --
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Laymon
Hey kids. Crystal meth is created by cooking the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
found in cold medicines or weight loss aids. The pills are crushed into powder,
then blended to a steady boil with other solvents like starter fluid or Coleman
fuel. This creates a bubbly, sudsy chemical reaction which can be strained
through one of your children's diapers and set aside to dry in the basement
or living room.
The foaming white, crumbly residue can be smoked in a traditional, contemporary
American crack pipe made from glass or ceramic [high in 3-5 minutes]—or
placed gently upon a small sheet of tinfoil, heated from below with a cigarette
lighter and the vapors inhaled [high in 2-3 minutes]. If the end product looks
more like crystals than powder, they can be melted over a spoon, sucked into
a communal syringe, and injected into your bloodstream [immediately high].
If you just want
to put it in your mouth and swallow, you have to wait fifteen minutes. A single
dose of meth lasts for six to eight hours. The identical portion of cocaine
would get you high for maybe twenty minutes.
Dr. Mary Holley, obstetrician and chairperson of Mothers Against Methamphetamine,
informed the Associated Press that one's initial hit of meth is the equivalent
of ten orgasms all on top of each other, each lasting for 30 minutes to an
hour, with a feeling of arousal that lasts for another day and a half. She
is quick to confess that the effect doesn't last long: "After you've been using
[meth] about six months or so, you can't have sex unless you're high. After
you have been using it a little bit longer you can't have sex even when you're
high. Nothing happens. [Your penis] doesn't work."
And you're not obligated to keep referring to it as methamphetamine, Poindexter.
Popular slang for this drug of course includes crystal, but more commonly tina --
a corruption of the word sixteen, based on the concept of one sixteenth
of an ounce. When you see Craigslist classified ads from people searching for
a "party with Tina," you can rest assured they're willing to spend anywhere
from three to five dollars.
Eighty percent of meth comes from Mexican drug cartels operating in the desolate
expanses of central and southern California. Enterprising individuals armed
with orange rubber hoses stretched like octopus arms across gas torches heating
Big Gulp cups of isopropyl alcohol can make about 280 doses per concoction
—provided there's enough cat litter to absorb stray toxins. With commercial-grade
lab equipment, a single basement can churn out close to a million units every
two days using high-thread-count Martha Stewart linens to filter solids from
liquids. The Oregonian reports that California's Central Valley, according
to Fresno prosecutor Carl M. Faller Jr, is "Columbia for meth".
Might a portable meth lab in your car adequately pimp your ride? The Narcotics
Digest Weekly tells of a federal grand jury in Kentucky who indicted
two men for concealing ice methamphetamine in a motorized, 3-foot hobby rocket
—connected by wires to the vehicle's cigarette lighter. If stopped by police,
the men planned to open the trunk of the vehicle, raise the methamphetamine-filled
rocket into launching position using a string and pulley system, and launch
the rocket into the air. These two men now host Methbusters on the
Creating methamphetamine is a dangerous process. The chemicals and solvents
are more than just flammable; they're highly volatile and downright explosive.
If you're bubblin' up paint thinner in a $19.00 Family Guy coffee mug you ordered
off a web site—and it cracks in half over the Spider-Man 2 laser
pointer doubling as a Bunsen burner—well, nobody ever said finding the perfect
recipe was gonna be easy.
It's not Julia Child in the kitchen, it's Julia Child on meth in the kitchen:
and she's in there whackin' on turkeys with croquet mallets and makin' those
weird meth faces, going duh with all her stupid meth friends, knocking
the pie into the propane, and generally being careless. When meth ingredients
explode and glass containers burst, hot sticky chemicals splash outward in
every direction. Meth labs don't "catch" fire, they're instantly placed into
a state of violent, raging fire climbing up the walls and ceiling of your trailer
home or apartment complex. So wear an apron. Nothing beats a picture
of a burned-out Volkswagen bus meth lab with an upside-down teddy bear in the
Perhaps investing in better lab equipment becomes pointless when (a) it might
blow up at any moment, and (b) the police can seize all of it at any time.
Individuals busted for developing in-house meth labs now face the same scrutiny
as captured sex offenders: in December of 2005, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
launched an Internet Registry of convicted methamphetamine manufacturers.
In North Carolina, crystal meth is considered a weapon of mass destruction, invoked
in accordance with the Patriot Act under the state's Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical Weapons Act. Under the law, a meth conviction results in a sentence
ranging from 12 years to life in prison on each count.
"The difference between a sex offender and someone involved in illegal narcotics
is that you can get out of the illegal narcotics business," claims Sergeant Jason
Grellner, commander of the meth unit in Franklin County, Montana. Mug shots and
photographs of the offenders will not be included in the online expose, primarily
because most rural sheriff's departments can't afford all that big-city digital
One side effect of these new drug laws is the practice of "smurfing," a colloquialism
so poorly coined it brings to mind only a handful of uptight squares or parents
who don't understand. Smurfing is the act of considering every possible
store in your area which might sell products with pseudoephedrine, driving
to each store, and purchasing that store's two-package limit. The reason it's
called smurfing is because large groups of meth addicts can be seen
assembled together in this ritual, standing in a big conga line, clutching
bottles of blue cough medicine. Plus if you squint your eyes and you're a totally
uneducated huckleberry from Sticksville, Stupidland—something about the
whole deal reminds you of a bunch of Smurfs. Which makes the police Gargamel
and the DEA Azreal. The word smurfing was originally a banking term
which described the process of evading government scrutiny by breaking up one
single mammoth financial transaction into many smaller ones. The term has been
further corrupted to describe forging packets on a computer network to produce
denial of service attacks.
Q: What's a cat's favorite drug?
In December of 2005, Linda Green, the widow of an Oklahoma State Trooper
killed by a violent meth addict, filed a wrongful-death suit against Pfizer,
Wal-Mart, Walgreen, Dollar General and United Supermarkets—arguing the
companies knew they were supplying meth addicts with the tools of their trade.
The word smurfing does
not appear once in the document.
The War on Drugs is stronger now than it's ever been, and states like Oklahoma
have already pioneered new laws banning certain types of cough syrup containing
pseudo-ephedrine and other ingredients. The purpose of this legislation is
to get pain relievers off the shelves where they might be bought in bulk. The
bill passed easily in 2004, ushering in a new era of red-flagged sales, purchases
tracked with fingerprints and photo IDs, and signature logs establishing direct
paper trails capable of linking you and your stoner buddies to that basement
treasure trove of Winnie the Pooh Sneezy-Head Flu gelatinous caps. Ephedrine
all by itself, as an ingredient, can fetch $3,000 per pound on the street.
But law enforcement is essentially helpless: they can't possibly bust every
single mobile and stationary lab in town. In Georgia, police chased the "Mailbox
Meth Gang," a group of twenty talented addicts who kept an eye out for raised
red flags on the mailboxes of their neighborhood's housing subdivisions. Such
mailboxes were observed to contain checks, bank statements, credit card offers,
and other forms of ID suitable for plundering. The Mailbox Meth Gang secured
roughly 14,000 credit card numbers, which they used in the service of securing
more meth. One defendant who pled guilty to fifty-six counts of identity theft
received close to a full year in the county jail.
Dry mouth, one immediate side effect, is the result of depleted saliva glands,
easily exacerbated by the acidic nature of the drug when smoked or snorted.
Meth users often try medicating themselves with crazy, delicious liters of
Mr. Pibb and Red Vines—but syrupy, sugary candies and sodas only contribute
to the decay. Meth cavities usually start between two teeth, trapezing
from cuspid to cuspid across the network of enamel. The desire to grind one's
molars together can easily result in multiple teeth snapping right out of your
mouth and into the hot tub, or being left behind after a bite of your peanut
butter sandwich. The meth mouth epidemic is widespread in prisons as well,
where clean, sharp teeth are not always valued. Prisons are now obligated to
devote a growing portion of their health-care budgets to emergency dental care,
which costs taxpayers in every state a small fortune each year. Meth culture
has emerged just in time to intersect with price reductions in false teeth
and DaVinci Veneers.
The drug causes so much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that the
phrase meth mouth has entered the public discourse. The heated substance,
when fully aspirated, swirls through the users' teeth and gums, inevitably
leading to sores which never heal. Tooth enamel wears away quickly as entire
rows of teeth dissolve to the gumline. It collects in the nasal passages which
drain in the back of the throat, effectively corroding your entire face.
Regular meth users are referred to as tweakers, so-called because they can
go ALL TWEAKEND LONG, BABY. They can be awake for three to fifteen days
straight: irritable, violent and paranoid. On the show Cops, tweakers
are frequently witnessed at the scene of automobile accidents and domestic
disputes, freaked out with their shirts off and not at all surprised they're
being filmed by Cops. Prairie View Prevention Services, Inc. in association
with MAPP, the Meth Awareness and Prevention Project, have created a small
instructional flyer on how to handle tweakers:
If you notice that someone is tweaking, be careful how you handle the
situation. Keep in mind these six safety tips for approaching a tweaker:
1. Keep your distance. Coming too close can be perceived as threatening.
2. No bright lights. The tweaker is paranoid and bright lights
may cause them to react violently.
3. Slow your speech, lower your voice.
4. Slow your movements. The tweaker is paranoid and may misunderstand
5. Keep your hands visible, or they may feel threatened and become
6. Keep the tweaker talking. A tweaker who falls silent can be
extremely dangerous. Silence often means that his paranoid thoughts have
taken over reality, and anyone present can become part of the tweaker's paranoid
Meth is the shortest word in the English language one can lisp while
drunk and underage at a gay bar. It can therefore be no surprise that homosexual
males have congregated around the substance since its inception. For every
meth mouth, there is an equal and opposite meth dick. Just ask graphic
designer and 27-year-old Chad Upham, who grew so concerned about how easily
he could enjoy drug weekends and unprotected sexual encounters with same-sex
partners found online that he printed up T-shirts bearing the slogan I USE
"A lot of people I've met [online] are just messes," Chad confessed to Will
O'Bryan in the D.C. MetroWeekly. "Their entire lives revolve around this.
There's nothing but Gatorade in the refrigerator and candy all over the house.
I saw a guy freak out, just yelling on his bed."
have you ever tried searching for such a needle in a gaystack? Not cool.
Methamphetamine even has its own gay rainbow flag, a byproduct of the the cooking
and straining process which commonly contributes unique colors, hues, and saturations
to the dose. To be sure, unscrupulous dealers sometimes add food coloring to
their stash, either to disguise their amateur technique or to peddle their
warez more effectively.
RED: Meth was made from pseudo-ephedrine, and the red coloring of the original
tablet was not adequately washed away.
ORANGE: Ephedrine sulfate was used, and a portion of the sulfate was reduced
PURPLE: Iodine from a phosphorus-iodine reaction was not washed out.
GREEN: Copper or other metallic salts made their way in to the mixture,
probably due to the reaction vessel.
BROWN: Oxidized red coloring or tablating agent was present in the reduction.
Doctors and health advocates alike have come to demonize the drug, insisting
that meth is systematically hunting down and exterminating the gay community
from the inside out, just like that dinosaur in Jurassic Park who stalks
and kills the one guy who looks like a cross between Gene Wilder and French
Stewart. Consider the delicious warnings from Grant Colfax, a leading researcher
with the San Francisco Department of Public Health:
"It makes them feel sexy," Colfax reports. "They feel that it enhances their
sexual behavior. Meth enhances the release of neurotransmitters—especially
dopamine—and this release is associated with increased energy, increased
libido, and increased feelings of invulnerability."
Sage advice and brilliant wordsmithing indeed, although he could have just
said if you want more dope, switch to meth. Furthermore, it's unclear
if Colfax was referring to gay sex among adult males or velociraptors. Statistically
speaking, gay men, with their patterns of heavy alcohol use and incessant where's-the-hood-at
party mentality are far more likely in any city, suburb, or backwoods farmhouse
(let's all say it together) to bend over willingly and take crank for hours.
Meanwhile, health campaigns targeting the lesbian and gay community have only
begun searching for the right words and pictures to deliver anti-meth messages,
often referred to internally as anti-methages.
PARTY 'N' PLAY...
OR PARTY 'N' PAY?? spurts one mammoth 8 x 11" placard positioned
directly over the center-stage urinal at TUGS, an uptown gay bar in
Seattle's famed Pike-Pine Corridor. Let us guess: it's a matter of life and
meth? Another anti-crystal print and outdoor ad kicked off during Gay Pride
in Canada, resulting in the wrath of Philip Morris' Marlboro brand but paving
the way for mushy, meth-mouth movie magic like Brokeback Mountain.
Or maybe you just need a booty bump, a method of administering meth
by mixing it with water, putting the liquid in a syringe with the needle broken
off, sticking it up your ass and injecting it. Don Baird, former meth enthusiast,
describes booty bumping as "an unusually high-maintenance spectacle which screams
LOOK AT ME I'M PUTTING DRUGS UP MY ASS". It's no exaggeration to say the act
casts an awkward shadow over the traditional greet-n-snort or ritualistic passing of the pipe.
So whether you're a spazzed-out circuit queen or a skinhead. Whether you call
it crank, chalk, glass, ice, trash, tina, amp, laundry detergent, altoids,
nazi dope, white house or just plain crystal, know the facts before making
a meth out of your life.
Faces of Death |