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What Is Meth?
Utah Governor’s Message
Who Is Effected?
Inspecting For Meth
Meth - How Toxic Is Toxic - Deseret News Article - 2/07
Utah County Health Dept. Approved Clean-up Firm List
Helpful Meth Info Links
Clandestine Lab Indicators
PLEASE NOTE: The brown text information shared on this page about meth is provided as a public service by www.endmethnow.org.

Meth is a viciously addictive synthetic stimulant that affects the pleasure centers of the brain. In Utah, the most likely users of meth are childbearing-age women. Meth is popular with younger age groups, with the majority of users under the age of 35. Over 50 percent of all meth users begin between the ages of 12 and 19.

Meth was developed early last century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and has been used legitimately for treatments such as nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Amphetamine (meth's parent drug) was widely distributed to army personnel during World War II. Amphetamine-laced chocolate was routinely given to German soldiers, and it is reported that from 1942 to 1945, Adolf Hitler received daily meth injections to treat depression and fatigue. Some attribute his Parkinson's-like symptoms to use of this drug. Today, meth is legally available only by prescription, with very limited medical applications for treatment of ailments such as narcolepsy (a sleep disorder), attention deficit disorders, and obesity. Many medical authorities have largely discontinued use of meth for therapeutic purposes.

Truckers have used the drug for long-haul routes, to keep from falling asleep. People have used it for weight control, mild depression or as a study aid.

Athletes have used it to perform better and train longer. Current forms of meth, made with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, are far more potent than earlier versions of the drug. It is even stronger than crack cocaine, and considered more addictive than heroin. Today, outside of a doctor's prescription, meth is considered a controlled substance that is illegal to possess, manufacture or sell under Utah and Federal law.

In addition to "meth," the drug is also known by dozens of nicknames, including "speed," "chalk," "ice," "crystal," "glass," "crank," "yaba," "fire," "tina," and "tweak."



Citizens of Utah:

Governor Huntsman

Methamphetamine use among Utah women continues to cause a tremendous strain on our communities, the criminal justice system, human and public health services, and most important, our families. Throughout the past few years I have spent many hours meeting with young women and mothers addicted to methamphetamine and their loved ones, all of whom have one common request: To recover from this horrible addiction.

As Governor, I take this request very seriously and with the assistance of the Utah Association of Counties and Utah Methamphetamine Joint Task Force, we created a public awareness campaign with a simple, yet necessary theme - hope and recovery.

Because of your commitment to improving the lives of all Utah citizens, especially those battling with addiction, I invite you to introduce and embrace this campaign in your community.

It is my honor to share this incredible campaign with you and the tremendous people of our great state. I look forward to your participation and support as we collectively work toward hope and recovery statewide.

Sincerely, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. - Governor



Who is Affected by Meth?

Utah is one of the national leaders per capita in meth production and use. It is the number one drug of choice for all Utahans admitted to public substance abuse treatment programs, increasing from 8.1 percent in 1995 to nearly 28 percent of all admissions in 2006. Meth use and addiction cuts across lines of social status, income level, employment and gender - and places increasing stress on the normal function of Utah life.

Meth's Impacts on Women

Women comprise 64 percent of individuals who have used meth in the past 12 months. Of the women in treatment in Utah, nearly three-quarters of them are mothers, and just over seven percent are pregnant at the time of admission. Meth use can lead to loss of employment, possessions, appearance, family, friends, and children and even lead to the user's eventual death.

Meth's Impacts on Children

Since women tend to be the primary caregiver in the home, a mother using meth directly impacts the child. Meth use often leads to child neglect that requires the state to remove the child from the home and place the child in foster care. In 2005, 1,801 children were placed in foster care because their mothers had substance abuse treatment issues, which cost the state nearly $60 million. Hidden emotional and mental cost to those children is unknown.

Meth and Crime

51.4 percent of all treatment admissions for meth have been referred by the courts/criminal justice system. Last year, more than 40 percent of Drug Court participants reported meth as their primary drug of choice. Clients with arrest histories entering treatment had an average of three arrests in the six months before treatment began. During treatment, arrests dropped to 0.6 arrests per client.

Meth's Cost to Utah Taxpayers

The use of social services greatly impacts taxpayers of Utah. When meth is involved, state and county entities are forced to reallocate funds from other services they provide in order to handle the meth issue. Expenditures include costs for law enforcement who deal with crimes associated with meth; court systems that must determine action or punishment for the crime; and the costs of the correctional facility. Additionally, meth contributes significantly to more than $12 million of uncompensated emergency room costs and more than $33 million of uncompensated patient admission costs.

In Salt Lake County, family treatment costs $15,000 a year, whereas jail costs $25,700, plus an additional $33,000 to house each child in foster care. State-sponsored, methamphetamine-related foster care cost the state approximately $33 million in 2006.




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