Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cruel World of Meth Cooks and Addicts is Deadly

Paranoid delusions, booby traps, murderous plots a given

Opening the door of a camper in a remote area of a lonely
ranch, the last thing a man ever sees is a pyrex dish filled
with chemicals in the bottom of an ice chest. An electrical
solenoid attached to the door frame triggers a spark from a
battery and the entire trailer is engulfed in deadly
explosive chemical flames.

Burned over a large percentage of his body, doctors save his
life but not his eye sight.

Tortured by paranoid delusions, a man "cooking" a deadly
chemical concoction on a rural road begins to see mechanical
birds fitted with television cameras where their eyes should
be. They're spying on him, and what's more, someone is
watching him from cameras mounted atop power poles along the
country road that runs out in front of the place.

A man runs from a police officer in a patrol vehicle,
weaving in and out of crowded lanes on a packed expressway
at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Deluded into thinking there is an enemy in the trunk of the
car he's driving, he begins to fire a high-powered handgun
through the back seat. The bullets penetrate the body of
the car, its gas tank.

Finally, using nail strips and several other police cars to
bump the car off the road once it has been slowed by
flattened tires and the blocking action of the cruiser cars,
the man is put into custody.

It's an every day thing when it comes to addiction to
"crank," crystal, or the unfortunate concoction addicts call
"bunk dope."

Since it doesn't work to help them "get off" on another
episode of the "rush" of neurochemicals that induce a
feeling of euphoria, of extreme well-being, invincibility,
sparkle, and drive, they are compelled to steal more and
more, rob at will, hustle family and friends out of money,
or turn out wives and girlfriends in prostitution schemes in
pursuit of the elusive high they seek.

It's the poor man's cocaine, something that can keep an
addict coming back for more - at any price - for days at a
time, until either he's put in jail, seeks detoxification
through medical supervision, or he is killed by an accident,
another paranoid foe, or a rival drug gang.

The first thing to go is a person's judgment, that inner
spark of moral fiber that says to do this or that is wrong,
undesirable, something you wouldn't wish on your worst

After even short periods of use, one's teeth rot and
literally fall out of one's head - especially womens' -
because of the increased demands for vital nutrients such as
calcium their bodies make when they bear children.

In fact, the normalcy of routine menstrual cycles is
something that goes out the window as quickly as good
judgment and dental hygiene. Often, women have been
pregnant for weeks before they even notice they are "late"
or even recognize the tell tale clues that they are
expecting. The result - diseased, deformed and challenged
infants who grow up with learning disabilities and person-
ality disorders.

It's definitely an undesirable thing, this disease of
addiction to methamphetamines. Its complications are
manifest and incurable and range from high blood pressure
and stroke to terminal diseases like Hepatitis C, the viral
infection transmitted sexually or from a used hypodermic sy-

What are some of the danger signs one should look for when
it comes to the shadowy world of methamphetamine labs?

It's a rural phenomenon, one in which a "cook" is supplied
with as little as $50 worth of supplies - chemicals that can
be turned into as much as $1,500 worth of the deadly
addictive drug addicts smoke, snort and inject.

Since Federally supervised narcotics task forces have dried
up the supplies of such sophisticated precursor chemicals as
phenyl acetic acid, something obtainable only through
reputable chemical warehouses and which is acquired only
through strict accounting practices as rigorous as those
applied to explosives or pharmaceuticals, the principal
method of "cooking" the drug is that used when making "Nazi

It's called that because at the end of World War Two, when
an insane Adolph Hitler refused to surrender to advancing
armies on two fronts, thus dooming millions upon millions of
people to the hard realities of deprivation through the
application of saturation bombing, armored tactics and
economic blockade, it was much, much easier to motivate
troops and slave laborers to continue to function at peak
capacity on potato gruel, ersatz grain coffee and little
else, by the use of this fiendish drug.

It's something that makes a person think everything is
right, right, right, right and that there is no such thing
as defeat in their future. It tricks the body, mind and
heart into feelings that nullify the need for normal sleep,
relaxation and nutrition.

Their chemists improvised and came up with a formula that
would work just as well, an abbreviated chemical process
involving match heads, ether starting fluid, battery acid,
the principal ingredient of cold tablets, epinephrine, other
kitchen sink items like soda. The key factor - anhydrous
ammonia - was something that any agricultural operation has
in abundance. You can find it in bulk trailer tanks parked
at cotton gins, grain elevators and seed mills - or parked
on the lonely reaches of farms and ranches where it will be
available come planting time.

Hence, in the criminal underworld of illicit drug makers,
there are mules who obtain the supplies from drug stores,
supermarkets and big box discount houses such as Wal-Mart.

On the other hand, there are "cooks" who live in rural
hovels on the back forties of ranches and farms and make the

What are they like? Look for extreme shortness of breath.
Since cooks operate without safety equipment in sealed
environments to cut down on the tell tale obnoxious odors
the chemical reactions produce, they are known to become
victims of raging respiratory complications such as COPD and
emphysema in a very short time.

How is it marketed? Criminal motorcycle gangs, the
management of "tit bars" that exploit younger women for a
life of exhibitionistic excess and outright prostitution,
crooked truck stop and convenience store operators and the
people who operate all-night pool halls, marginal motels on
the old back roads of the U.S. Highway system, and along the
decaying routes of inner city interstate routes all pitch in
to peddle the explosive combination of poisonous chemicals.

Look for the kind of propane tanks attached to house
trailers, barbecue pits and forklifts. The brass fittings
will be colored a bright green because of the chemical
reaction of the anydrous ammonia on the alloy of the

Any prolonged odors of ether - of starting fluid - that
lingers over a collection of trailer houses situated on a
remote area of a ranch or farm is a tipoff that cooks are
concocting "crank" at a rural location. In fact, any
prolonged foul odors coming from the kitchens of houses or
trailer usually are a positive sign that something is up.

Where one should be smelling roasting meat, boiling beans or
peas, or frying chicken, there is a pronounced and lingering
chemical odor that is rather nauseating.

Whatever you do, don't investigate on your own. This stuff
is explosive, hugely flammable and the slightest spark can
engulf a house or barn in deadly chemical clouds and flames
in the fraction of a second.

Booby traps are common and to be expected.

It's best to leave the task to seasoned police officers who
know what they're looking for and know when and how to move
in with some expectations of safety.

Think of it as a public health issue. Murder, chemical
pollution, prostitution, burglary, robbery and drug
addiction is definitely the kind of thing that is geared to
take one's life and mess up the lives of loved ones.

It's nothing to play with. Believe it.

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