Crystal methamphetamine, or “meth,” among the most dangerous and addictive substances on the street, is one of the nation's top drug problems. But, unlike many illegal drugs that are more concentrated in urban cities, meth takes a heavy toll in rural areas, particularly in the Midwest.
Indiana ranks second in the nation for the number of meth labs—more than 1,500—seized in 2004, according to Lori Petro, coordinator of the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Unit. Meth is estimated to cost the state of Indiana $100 million annually. A synthetic stimulant, meth is made of highly explosive and toxic substances. Making meth can be just as deadly as using it. Many people are killed, burned or maimed while “cooking” meth in makeshift labs with ingredients found in over-the-counter medications and other household items. The manufacturing process also creates toxic waste, which pollutes the environment.
Purdue Extension is part of a coalition of Indiana organizations working to eradicate the manufacture and abuse of meth in the state. The Indiana Meth Free Coalition is a partnership among Purdue Extension , Indiana State Police, local law enforcement, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Department of Transportation, businesses, and social service and educational organizations.
“Our main goal is to educate parents and to give them the skills to talk with their children and teens about staying away from meth and other drugs,” says Karen Zotz, Purdue Extension consumer and family sciences program leader. Purdue Extension is developing an educational video to create public awareness. The video will be distributed to Purdue Extension offices in each county.
More information in available on the Indiana Meth Free Indiana Coalition Web site.