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Crystal Meth. S. Pirzada Sattar, MD Director of Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Creighton University School of Medicine Medical Director, Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, VA Health System, Nebraska and Western Iowa. Worst Drug to hit America. “A ferociously addictive

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crystal meth

Crystal Meth

S. Pirzada Sattar, MD

Director of Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship

Creighton University School of Medicine

Medical Director, Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, VA Health System, Nebraska and Western Iowa


Worst Drug to hit America

“A ferociously addictive

drug that is spreading…

it’s hard to imagine overstating

the magnitude of the meth


-U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey

Source-A Madness Called Meth

history of meth
History of Meth

* First created in Germany in 1887

* Used widely during WWII by the Nazi and Japanese armies

* Japanese kamikaze pilots were documented to be high on meth

* Major challenge in post war Japan

* Biker gangs in California after WWII began to distribute meth

Source-Nebraska State Patrol

prevalance data for the native american population
Prevalance data for the Native American Population:
  • Geographic variation between Native American Population’s drug use pattern (NLAES).1
  • Limited data
  • Males up to 50%2
  • Females up to 35%2
  • NA Adolescents 16% attempted suicide3
nebraska teenage drinking stats
Nebraska Teenage Drinking Stats

* Ranked 9th for teenage binge drinking

* Over 1/2 of Nebraska teens reported that they currently use alcohol - 6th in the nation

* 3rd among teenagers that reported driving after drinking

* 2nd in teens that reported riding with a drinking driver

Source-2003 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey

nebraska teenage drinking
Nebraska Teenage Drinking

* 7 out of 10 teens who drink obtained alcohol from an adult

* 38% drank with an adult present

* Over 1/5 drank at home with the permission of a parent

Source-Nebraska Risk & Protective Factor Student Survey By Nebraska HHS

risk factors for youth
Risk Factors for Youth

Four domains of human interaction:

*Family *Individual/Peers *Schools *Community


- Positive Social and Relationship Skills

- Positive involvement

- Affirmative Recognition

Major transition periods

what is meth
What is meth?

Source: NIDA Research Report –1998

what does meth look like
What does meth look like?
  • Typically an odorless powder that dissolves quickly in water
  • Another form of meth is clear chunky crystals referred to as crystal meth or ice
  • May be in the form of small brightly colored tablets, referred to as YABA
how is meth used
* InjectedHow is meth used?

* Snorted

* Smoked

* Orally

commonly known as
* SpeedCommonly known as:

* Chalk

* Crystal

* Crank

* Glass

* Ice

meth causes
Meth Causes…

~ Increased alertness

~ Decreased appetite

~ A distorted sense of well-being

~ Effects that can last 8 to 24 hours

behavior changes health changes
Psychotic behavior







Mood Swings





Brain damage, similar to Alzheimer’s disease

Weight loss


Behavior Changes Health Changes

Source-Congressional Research Sites

effects of meth on teeth
Effects of Meth on Teeth

Source-Make Smart Choices website


Light colored spots on brain scan areas of dead tissue similar to the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient is creating a “Swiss Cheese” brain incapable of normal function


Researchers have reported that the dopamine producing cells in the brain can be damaged after prolonged exposure of relatively low levels of methamphetamine.

meth labs
Meth labs
  • Meth labs use so many toxic solvents/ create toxic waste, HAZMAT trained specialists are needed to decontaminate/dismantle
  • In 40% of meth lab seizures, children were present in the home at the time of the raid.
ingredients in meth
Ingredients in Meth

* Over the counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine

* Iodine

* Anhydrous ammonia

* Starter fluid or de-icer

* Drain cleaner

* Lithium batteries

* Muriatic/Hydrochloric acid

what are signs of a meth lab

Cat Urine




Items to look for:

Large number of blister packs

Red or brown stained coffee filters


What are signs of a meth lab?

Source-Congressional Research Sites

other signs of a meth lab
Other signs of a meth lab
  • Little or no traffic during the day
  • Never putting out the trash
  • Covered windows
  • Smoking outside
  • Unemployed but seems to have plenty of cash
methamphetamine synthesis
  • “Pour and run”
  • Ephedrine reduction method
    • Boil pills in red phosphorous and iodine
    • Convert ephedrine to MAP with lye, HCl, or hydrogen sulfide
    • Add hydrocarbon solvent
    • Filter precipitate
    • Pour byproduct down the drain
  • “Dry cook” with anhydrous ammonia
methamphetamine synthesis24
  • Manufacture possible with ephedrine/ pseudoephredrine
    • Found in cold medicines
    • Found in diet pills
    • Many pharmacies restrict bulk purchase of these drugs
methamphetamine synthesis25
  • Can be synthesized with common household products
  • Generates 5-7 pounds of hazardous waste per pound of drug
  • $70 of ingredients can create drugs with $2000 street value
    • But you can die trying to make it.
meth production
Meth production
  • Three categories of chemicals for production
    • Solvents
    • Corrosives
    • Metals/Salts
methamphetamine synthesis27
  • Toluene: paint thinner
  • Methanol: gas tank anti-freeze ("Heet“)
  • Ethyl Ether: starting fluid
  • Anhydrous ammonia: farmer’s co-ops
  • Hydrochloric acid: hardware stores
  • Sodium hydroxide: "Drano" or Red Devil Lye
  • Sulfuric acid: battery acid or drain cleaners
  • Iodine crystals: iodine crystals or tincture of iodine
  • Red phosphorous: striker plates, road flares
  • Lithium: camera batteries
environmental effects of meth
Environmental Effects of Meth

* Meth production leaves behind 5-6 lbs of toxic waste per 1 lb of meth produced.

* Toxic by-products contaminate sites where meth is produced posing serious health and environmental hazards to those nearby.

* The average cost to clean up one meth lab often exceeds $4,000.

Source-Nebraska State Patrol

impacts on families
Impacts on Families
  • Dangers of children being exposed to toxic fumes
  • Increase in child abuse and neglect cases
  • Increased risk for substance abuse among children in later life
  • A rise in domestic disputes
costs related to drug epidemic
Costs related to drug epidemic

* 8% of Nebraska’s budget, over $291 million, is spent on substance abuse related costs

* 91% of that amount is spent on burdens to public programs through Medicaid and welfare programs

* 6% goes for regulation and compliance

* 3% goes for prevention

(These amounts don’t include local and federal costs)

Source-National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse study

meth affects you
Meth affects You…
  • Each meth addict commits several crimes each year to support his/her habit.
  • The percentage of federal sentences for meth related drug convictions in Nebraska is five times the national average.

Source-National Drug Intelligence Center

special native american concerns
Special Native American Concerns
  • Meth, a growing concern on reservations
  • Jurisdictional issues
  • Non-Pharmacotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Self-help Groups
  • Structured Living
  • Treatment of Ongoing Medical Problems
  • Treatment of Ongoing Psychiatric Problems
role of spirituality
Role of Spirituality
  • Spirituality promotes treatment adherence
  • Spirituality promotes mental health
  • Spirituality promotes decreased use
role of culture
Role of Culture
  • Spirituality promotes treatment adherence
  • Spirituality promotes mental health
  • Spirituality promotes decreased use
hidden dangers
Hidden Dangers
  • Meth lab operators are now discarding waste materials in ditches and other remote areas of our community.
  • Leaders of scouts, 4-H, church organizations, and Adopt-A-Highway and Keep Nebraska Beautiful groups should be made aware of potential dangers.