[caption id="attachment_22826" align="alignleft" width="400"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2018\/11\/100_1923.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="290" class="size-full wp-image-22826" \/> TROOPERS\u2008FROM\u2008THE West Virginia State Police \u2013 Marlinton Detachment found this 30-gram \u201crock\u201d of meth last summer during a search of a home in the southern end of Pocahontas County. The drug is packaged and sold in small quantities, below. It could be said that large problems come in small packages.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2018\/11\/100_1925.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="361" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-22827" \/>\r\n\r\nJaynell Graham\r\nEditor\r\n\r\nTroopers from the West Virginia State Police \u2013 Marlinton Detachment found a large \u201crock\u201d of meth this past summer during a search of a home in the southern part of the county.\r\n\r\nMost people are not familiar with methamphetamine, and that is a good thing \u2013 in most cases. \r\n\r\nBut if you suspect someone in your household is using it, you need to educate yourself on the effects and dangers of the debilitating concoction for users\u2013 as well as the emotional and financial damage it can do to family and friends. \r\n\r\nSgt. Guy Deweese, Commander of the Marlinton Detachment, said meth is used in many ways \u2013 smoked, melted in water or alcohol and injected, snorted and the latest craze \u201chot railing.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cEverything in meth is poisonous,\u201d Deweese said, \u201cother than the pseudoephedrine.\u201d\r\n\r\nAccording to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, is a stimulant drug usually used as a white, bitter-tasting powder or a pill. Crystal meth is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. Other common names for methamphetamine include chalk, crank, crystal, ice and speed.\r\n\r\nWhat ingredients go into making meth?\r\n\r\nWell, there is acetone, which is found in nail polish remover and paint thinner.\r\n\r\nAnhydrous ammonia which is found in some cleaners and fertilizer. \r\n\r\nThe pseudoephedrine, found in some cold medicines and diet pills, sounds safe enough, but in large quantities it damages the respiratory system, nervous system and the heart. \r\n\r\nHydrochloric acid is thrown into the mix. It\u2019s normally used in making plastic, and is so corrosive that it can eat away a person\u2019s flesh.\r\n\r\nLithium from batteries is also used in the process. Lithium burns the skin and is highly explosive. Everyone has read about explosions as a result of a meth lab going bad.\r\n\r\nSodium hydroxide or lye is also used, as well as sulfuric acid which is found in drain and toilet cleaners. Coleman fuel... and the list goes on.\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe chemical mixture basically turns into a gas generator, and when the pseudoephedrine pills are added, it separates into crystals.\r\n\r\nDeweese said law enforcement hasn\u2019t encountered many meth labs recently, because crystal meth is coming into the county, and the implementation of NPLEx has made had an effect, as well. \r\n\r\nNPLEx, the National Precursor Log Exchange, is a real-time electronic logging and compliance system that tracks sales of over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine. This monitoring makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for an individual to purchase the number of pills needed to make a full \u201crun\u201d of meth.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, meth users found a way to make small doses in a process known as \u201cshake and bake.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile this particular drug is not as pure as crystal, the potential damage from the process needs to be noted.\r\n\r\nShake and bake meth is made in a plastic soda bottle, and once the user has what they want, they often pitch the bottle out along the highway. These bottles are considered hazardous material and could present a problem to well-meaning \u201cAdopt a Highway\u201d groups.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s look at how meth affects the health of the individual addict.\r\n\r\nBecause the \u201chigh\u201d from the drug both starts and fades quickly, users often take repeated doses in a \u201cbinge and crash\u201d pattern. \r\n\r\n\u201cMeth is a stimulant,\u201d Deweese said. \u201cPeople who use it can go for days without sleeping.\u201d\r\n\r\nUsers also suffer severe side effects, such as \u201cmeth mouth.\u201d\r\n\r\nThat term is derived from this particular drug practice, where the fumes from smoking meth destroy the enamel on the teeth, causing them to quickly decay.\r\n\r\n\u201cParanoia is another side effect,\u201d Deweese said. \r\n\r\n\u201cPick marks on the skin are associated with the paranoia. These picks are an external sign of use, and are caused by the user scratching themselves, because they think there are bugs in their skin. \r\n\r\n\u201cAs the drug destroys the receptors in the brain, users often become obsessive compulsive, and will focus on one thing for days on end.\u201d\r\n\r\nIs there hope or help for people who have fallen into meth addiction?\r\n\r\n\u201cThere is help available,\u201d Deweese said, \u201cbut it comes down to the user being willing to quit.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey need help, but you can\u2019t just say \u2018I\u2019m going to quit.\u2019\r\n\r\n\u201cRelapse remains high, but the addiction can be overcome with treatment.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile much has been written and researched about drug addiction, it is unfortunate that many parents, family members and friends who suffer the highs and lows right along with the addict often get no help or support for several reasons.\r\nThe first is denial.\r\n\r\nNo one wants to believe that their child, wife, husband, grandchild \u2013 too often parent \u2013 has fallen into this abyss.\r\n\r\nExcuses abound, and finances dwindle as one or more family members become enablers by refusing to call addiction what it is. Years go by. The addict falls further into the habit. The family falls further into debt and dysfunction.\r\n\r\nThe addict will \u201cclean up\u201d for a few days. There are sighs of relief all around, and hope springs eternal.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, the clean-up doesn\u2019t last, and the addict dives in again, dragging his or her loved ones with them.\r\n\r\nMost people think theirs is a unique situation, but by taking the step of joining a support group, most find that the situation is actually quite \u201ctextbook,\u201d \u2013 everyone is fighting the same battles.\r\n\r\nFor anyone finding themselves on either side \u2013 addict or the one who loves an addict \u2013 I would recommend reading Beautiful Boy \u2013 A Father\u2019s Journey Through His Son\u2019s Addiction, by David Sheff.\r\n\r\nPerhaps one of the most important messages from this true story is aimed at the ones who find themselves lying awake at night, worrying and feeling guilty.\r\n\r\nThroughout the book Sheff finds himself feeling responsible for his son\u2019s addiction. But he combats those thoughts by reminding himself of the \u201cthree Cs.\u201d \r\n\r\n\u201cYou didn\u2019t Cause it. You can\u2019t Control it. You can\u2019t Cure it.\u201d\r\n\r\nOverview of A Beautiful Boy from amazon.com:\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff\u2019s journey through his son Nic\u2019s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. \r\n\r\nBefore Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. \r\n\r\nAfter meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole and lived on the streets. Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls \u2013 is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. \r\n\r\nBut as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. \r\n\r\nAnd he refused to give up on Nic.\u201d\r\n\r\nBeautiful Boy is available from Amazon and most book sellers.\r\n\r\nAn audio version of the book is available at McClintic Library in Marlinton.\r\n\r\nPrint editions are available at McClintic, Linwood and Hillsboro Public libraries.\r\n\r\nThe movie Beautiful Boy was released in October by Amazon Studios.\r\n\r\nSheff is the author of several books. His ongoing research and reporting on the science of addiction earned him a place on Time magazine\u2019s list of the World\u2019s Most Influential People. \r\n\r\nVisit David at DavidSheff.com and on Twitter @david_sheff.