Mainstreet Radio is live from Collegeville for the second hour of this special report. Rachel Reabe hosts a call-in discussion about Minnesota's methampetamine epidemic with three experts.
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(00:00:00) Minnesota public radio's Main Street radio coverage is supported by blandin Foundation based in Grand Rapids dedicated to strengthening rural Minnesota communities through its leadership development programs grants and public policy initiatives. Good afternoon. I'm Rachel riebe, and we're continuing our coverage on meth in Minnesota. We've spent an hour hearing about the cost of this highly addictive and readily available drug. Now you have an opportunity to ask your questions. We've assembled a panel of experts to respond to your calls. My guest today in Collegeville are Deborah Durkin the point person on methamphetamine for the Minnesota Department of Health Durkin spends much of her time traveling around Minnesota educating communities on the dangers of methamphetamine. Paul Stevens is with the Bureau of Criminal apprehension. He assist local law enforcement agencies in their battle against meth and Roger Han is here. He's a recovering meth amphetamine addict who's been clean for 14 months on his 21 years old and lives in Fergus Falls with his wife and two children. Good afternoon to all of you. Welcome to Main Street. Listeners. Our phone lines are open for your questions and comments. If you're in the Twin Cities, you can call six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand is the number if you're outside the metro area calls it one eight hundred two four to Twenty Eight. Twenty eight one eight hundred 242 2828, and I'm interested is methamphetamine a problem in your community. What worries you most about it. You can call us 1-800-222-6950 to seven six thousand if you're in the Twin Cities, if you'd like to submit your question or comment online you can do so by logging on to Minnesota Public Radio dot org, and click on send a question. So you're going to Minnesota Public Radio dot org, and just click on send a question. We have Charles from Brainerd on the line. Good afternoon Charles. Welcome to Main Street. (00:02:14) I just want to say that the word methamphetamine is a misnomer. What's that? What's being put on the streets is not methamphetamine per se. Methamphetamine is a drug that was originally used in World War II to keep the pilots awake. They still use it in the air force was also used to combat obesity by and prescribed by medical doctors and what they're calling methamphetamines nothing but a concoction of poison and to glamorize this drug with the name Crystal Method re which I'm not promoting is a is a mistake. It's not methedrine. It's a poison. It's a toxic poison (00:02:54) Charles. What's your background? (00:02:56) Well in Vietnam, the the chopper Pilots used it to stay awake and I used it and As far as drugs are concerned the side effects were there and it's addictive but it's nowhere near as toxic as the drug that they claim to be methamphetamine is today. Like I said, I'm not promoting the drug by any means I'm just saying it's not the same thing doctor can we (00:03:22) clarify that for us? Well, I believe the caller is correct that this is not the same final product is something that is created in a pharmaceutical company lab and you're absolutely correct in saying that that the this on the street meth that we're seeing in Minnesota now is filled with toxics that would be cleaned out in a lab situation, but it is chemically the same drug as methamphetamine. We have a call from Gene in Maplewood. Good afternoon. Welcome to Main Street. Gina we got you on the line. (00:04:01) My question is in regard to catching someone who is suspected of suspected of of dealing in this poison. I'm concerned that my grandchildren may be in the midst of this kind of thing and it seems the local authorities. Sometimes don't have much to go on and have a hard time actually stopping this. I'll take my answer off the air. that's true methamphetamine and people who manufacture methamphetamine are are difficult to catch because mostly by the sheer numbers that are presented in any given Community the really the main way we seem to come up on meth labs and people are selling methamphetamines through cooperation of other individuals people participating in the crime or family members will report the child abuse to Social Services were were able to intervene (00:05:02) Roger Hon you're a second-generation meth addict. You told me that your mother used methamphetamine. What was that like growing up (00:05:11) for me? It just seemed normal. I didn't know anything other than drugs in the home. That was barely ever home. I decided that I didn't want to be there. So I was constantly running away sleeping in parks and 24-hour laundry mats and everything else. I could just not to go (00:05:29) home. When did you first use methamphetamine? (00:05:33) I was about 16 when I started using methamphetamine. (00:05:37) And did you quickly get addicted was that was that one in a series of drugs that you had (00:05:42) used? Yeah, I started drinking and smoking marijuana on my ninth birthday and continued using it from then when I was 16. I was sent to live with an aunt in Fergus Falls when I say that's where I was in it do introduced a meth and for me it it took me over right away. I just started smoking it and you know right away is basically every night (00:06:06) right away. And your meth use considered continued for a number of years. (00:06:13) Yeah for me. It continued up until just about a year ago when I finally got into (00:06:19) treatment what precipitated you getting into (00:06:22) treatment along series of overdoses when I was 16, I was shooting up and I suffered what I believe is on my minor heart attack. I laid in bed for several days and my friends wouldn't bring me to the hospital, but they were pretty quick to shoot me up finally. July 3rd of the year before last I was arrested for 5th degree controlled substance and spend a few days in jail. I was putting Outpatient Treatment and I continue drinking we ended up getting into a car accident and I was sent to inpatient treatment after that and and I went into it with basically the attitude let a lot of people do I'm just going to sit my time and get this done with you don't get off paper and I'd it didn't turn out that way a roommate of mine kind of almost intimidated me into getting sober and from there. I took it seriously. I went into a halfway house after that for 90 days and and that taught me how to live my life like most people take for granted waking up in the morning eating breakfast every what people would call normal activity during the day. I learned how to redo that and finally now I've been clean for over a year. (00:07:41) Roger we heard in the pieces in the preceding our a number of recovering addicts saying they're clean but there's not a day that goes by that. I don't think longingly about methamphetamine. Is it that difficult (00:07:56) for me it is I still have what I call using dreams. I'll wake up in a cold sweat and at times I actually have to check my arms to see if this track marks for me. Yeah, I think of it every day and it's slowly getting better. But yeah, it's pretty much every day. I think about doing drugs again. (00:08:16) What's the key to staying off methamphetamine for you? (00:08:19) People places and things I have to stay away from the people that I hung around with before. I can't go any into the any the old places I used to use at and I got to avoid things like paraphernalia. Just just seeing it. Have you completely avoid everything? (00:08:39) Dipper Durkin Rogers talking about being arrested finally going into inpatient treatment for 30 days than a halfway house for 90 days. There's been a lot of conversation that treatment for meth addicts has not worked. Well because it's not long enough when they get into when they get off the drug. All they really want to do is sleep and suddenly. Whoo, they're 30 days is up and they haven't even really started the therapeutic process. Are we seeing more step down 90 days after the 30 days. It seems like it worked in his case. Well, we're certainly seeing an increased acknowledgement that that is what is needed. The problem is is that if I'm not going to be able to fully participate in therapy for six weeks or six months or nine months who's going to hold on to me until I can be in that place that I can participate. So where where are where is Roger going to be? Where's my child going to be? Um between the time we catch them and the time they're able to to to get well and that's a really tough question because that detox and the decline of psychiatric symptoms can take a long time. Our phone numbers are 6 512276 thousand if you're in the Twin Cities 1-800 to for to 2828 if you are outside the metro area, I'm Rachel rebe. This is a special broadcast on methamphetamine. And this is your opportunity to ask anything you want about methamphetamine. Paul Stevens is here. He's with the Bureau of Criminal apprehension. You just heard from Roger Han who's a recovering meth amphetamine addict and Deborah Durkin with the Minnesota Department of Health. If it's more convenient for you to submit your question or comment online do so by logging on to Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. Brad is standing by from st. Paul. Good afternoon, Brad. Welcome to Dan Street. (00:10:40) Yes. Thank you. Good afternoon. I am in the real estate appraisal profession and I was shocked to learn that recently. I'll bill was defeated. That would have required disclosure of a meth lab in a home. And I'm wondering if the panel is aware of that and maybe they can shed some light on on the ramifications of having a lab in a residential (00:11:05) home. I'm glad you brought that up because for people who have listened to the news or read the news this morning a big story on aftermath waste poses danger and actually our panelists Deborah Durkin you were quoted in there saying that people can be harmed by Meth ways. They can't even see chemical residues left on motel room vanity tops or in sink drains meth fumes can permeate Carpeting and draperies of users home. Do we need some law to protect people against what they don't know and what they can't see absolutely the caller is correct the in fact the last the law wasn't defeated. It just didn't make it through this this legislative session and that law would have not only required clean up, but there was discussion about disclosure on Deeds. And and concern among some lobbyists that that would be that would drive down housing prices or or or harm the owners of properties or burden Realtors. However, we really feel that it is unnecessary and protective measure both Paul and I worked on that bill with Senator Rosen and it really was our first comprehensive look at necessary necessary necessary laws to help us all out in all areas of math response. Paul Stevens were you basing that on laws in other states is Minnesota slow to jump on the bandwagon or we all kind of tripping to this at the same time? (00:12:44) Actually, Minnesota is ahead of Most states most states do not have a mandatory clean up law a few of the states are progressively attempting to do that. But they are running into the same things that we run into people representing to the Realtors associations and and people involved with sales of homes don't want to have any more restrictions or something that may harm a sale of a residence. I believe that they're very wrong in this thinking because we have thousands of homes and Residences that people are moving into every year in Minnesota. They've been used to manufacture methamphetamine and that have not been Cleaned up (00:13:29) well in some people listening might say okay, we should have that law on the books because of if a homeowner wants to man your manufacture methamphetamine in their home. That's his punishment that the property value drops. However statistics show us that much of the methamphetamine Manufacturing in rural Minnesota happens in rental properties. (00:13:52) Yes. It's true a rental property or grandma's and grandpa's property or the uncle's property. They abused their privileges or their rights or they break into other people's cabins and trailers and fish homes. We've had people fish houses as it's a people are breaking into fish houses and cooking methamphetamine and dumping the precursors into the waters. We've had them use treehouses children places where children play they don't seem to care as long as their main concern is not to get caught and to dispose of The deadly precursors and chemicals as quickly as (00:14:31) possible the other issue that was brought up in the newspaper article today. And on the wire story is that even cleaning up the highways has gotten dangerous for these people who are in save a highway and they're going along in their orange vests and picking up pop cans and suddenly they're picking up acetone containers and all sorts of things Deborah. What's going to be our new mode of operating your right Mille Lacs County took 55 propane tanks that had held in hydrous ammonia out of the ditch last year really, we're told that we need to respond in five areas law enforcement where we're doing really well education and awareness Child Protection remediation cleanup and treatment and the awareness piece is something that's really critical if we know what is dangerous than we know how to behave to prevent harm and that goes with Volunteers cleaning ditches that goes for our Law Enforcement Officers Child Protection workers and and everyone else we have real concerns about about human health in all areas of math response on the way up here this morning Paul and I got a call from 82 year old woman whose husband cleaned up a cabin after someone made meth in it. And there are something funny on his X-ray and his his health care provider wanted to know what chemicals he might have been exposed to while cleaning up their Cottage after this lab on can't tell what's wrong with him. He's feeling very ill coughing all the time and no one can figure out what might have happened and you were quoted this morning saying a lungful of anhydrous ammonia and you can lose 30% of your lung cap capacity than in there. That's how quickly and how irreversible it is some some Flab related injuries could be that acute that sudden in that severe and then there are other things that we may be exposed to that the we have a little dose a little dose a little dose and cumulative problems over time. So there are a lot of ways one may be injured by active meth labs or by being exposed to residues from Labs that were seized months or years ago. Let's go back to the legislation that you'd hope to get past this past year but didn't would that require the property owners to pay for the cleanup and is there some in a we're used to the Superfund and when you have you know buried gasoline tanks, you can apply for help to get those cleaned up who's going to bear the cost of all this outdoor lab the there have been very few dramatic outdoor cleanups required in Minnesota, and those have been covered by the Super fund monies provided by the pollution control agency. However, it is the property owner's responsibility to pay for the cleanup of interior's the Interiors of structures and vehicles that have been used to make meth it's tough. And so part of that education and awareness really needs to be property owner rental property owner education get a tough fleece look into the criminal background of your of your renters get a damage deposit and no more pity rents no more renting to poor cousin Charlie who's been in trouble with the law. We've got to take action upfront to prevent becoming victims of this crime Roger. Were you ever involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine arre, mostly on the user (00:18:16) end. I was mostly on the user end. (00:18:19) Did you know of methamphetamine being manufactured around you we heard in our report that 20% is made in Minnesota. The rest comes from someplace else where you mostly using Method had been imported or was it homegrown? (00:18:33) There's really no no way to tell when you're using I I'd say in my opinion is probably more than 20% made right around the world areas. (00:18:44) Let's go to this question that came online. Carla wants to know what are some options to help people that are addicted to meth without causing legal implications. That was one of the pieces we had on this morning Paul and I'd be interested in your take as someone who has spent a lifetime in law enforcement. Do you think it's a good idea to perhaps Less in the prison sentences and roll that money over into treatment programs or if we do that are we sending the wrong message (00:19:13) besides the wrong message many of the people that are brought to treatment are only brought there because of an arrest where they're looking at extensive prison time. Most people addicted to methamphetamine do Voluntarily come in for treatment most people addicted to methamphetamine (00:19:34) you're agreeing with this Roger. I see you shaking your head. You didn't just wake up one day and think I'm getting off the (00:19:38) stuff. No, I was I was brought into treatment by the courts as well. There has to be some sort of standard that we have to hold to because the I've talked to hundreds if not thousands of drug addicts in my career and many are Methamphetamine addicts most look forward to the day of getting out of County jail, so they can start using methamphetamine again, keeping in mind many of the people who get extensive long criminal prison sentences have committed many crimes have been many many other crimes on related to methamphetamine. These people are also usually involved with the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine as well as other crimes. (00:20:22) Let's go back to the phone lines. Nicole from Burnsville is on the line. Good afternoon, Nicole Welcome to Main (00:20:27) Street. Hi. Thank you for taking my call. Can you hear me? All right. Yes, I can't go ahead. Okay, great. I actually have a comment and a question. First of all my comment is that about 10 years ago? I was a user as well and actually ironically enough my friend's mother got me into it which now I look back and I'm so upset with no. I'm a mother and I can't believe that this older woman had, you know, got me to use it. In fact the first time I ever did use it was with the needle. I was one of those kids that was 15 years old low self-esteem smoking pot drinking smoking cigarettes, and there is a next best thing who intervened with my mother. She actually you guys would just speak about you know addicts don't walk into treatment gel, you know, usually officers put you there. My mom actually did a really good job. She noticed my behavior change and within two months, I was in an outpatient treatment stopped using that drug, although continue to smoke pot and do other such things. So that's my comment that you know family members hopefully can intervene as well. Other than just police officers. My question is I'd like to know what I could do being annexed to user and now being a mother and hearing about a listening for the past hour and a half hearing about the babies that are being affected and these poor children being affected by these users. Is there anything me I can do in my community? (00:21:57) What do you think Deborah? I think that every Community has need of volunteers and I would call the one of two places the your County Human Service organization and ask if they have something you can do or go to your local High School junior high and ask if they have children that you could speak with or speak to there's a big need out there and there isn't a there isn't really a Statewide organized Intervention Program in schools. Maybe there's some babies. You can rock at the hospital to (00:22:34) actually lost and phone Ministries will train for interventions. In fact here in Fergus Falls tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 in the Otter Tail Power South Dakota room. We have intervention training from lost phone (00:22:47) Ministries. Do you know Roger if that's a Statewide organizations that just local and Fergus (00:22:52) at that is I believe it's a Statewide. It's not local to Argus there's actually somebody coming to fairies to train us (00:22:59) excellent. So that's a and it's lost and found Ministries. Yeah, that's something perhaps you can check on let's continue with our calls might from Minneapolis is on the line. Good afternoon (00:23:10) Mike. Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my call. I was just I've gone through an outpatient program and through that. I've met some meth methamphetamine abusers. I guess I wasn't in there for that was there for other substances and I was just wondering from the standpoint of a X User. What is it about the drug? That is so appealing that would make you want to stay up for what weeks at a time with other drugs, you know, like hallucinated who listened to genic drugs. It's more immediate with methane Fanny being, you know, all that all that stuff happens after, you know, sleep being sleep-deprived for days and days. I was just wondering if someone could comment on what it is about math. That would compel someone to You know want to sell for weeks at a time, I guess (00:23:59) Roger you're the man who has to answer this (00:24:00) question. It's when you're doing math. You feel an extreme Euphoria you feel better than the world. There's you you feel like there's absolutely nothing better in the world that you could ever be doing. And once you start taking the first couple of hits then your entire goal is to get more and find more and that's it (00:24:20) Deborah. There are things about methamphetamine addiction and its effect on the body that makes it so much different than other drugs. Well methamphetamine lasts in the body and in the brain longer and at higher levels than (00:24:35) other drugs, so (00:24:36) it has a lot we have a lot more opportunity for harm and methamphetamine affects the central nervous system many many many addicts whom I have met former addicts have a have a Tremor Left Behind from from that that they will (00:24:54) never lose (00:24:56) their MRIs and pet scans of former chronic users that look like the MRIs and pet scans of people with Parkinson's stroke and Alzheimer's former addicts may have damage to the heart or other organ systems respiratory damage tooth bone gum loss. It's really a devastating drug part of it is the drug part of it is the environment in which one lives when using the drug Emily's on the line for Minneapolis. Good afternoon, Emily. Welcome to Main Street (00:25:34) Hi, how are you? (00:25:35) Fine? Thank you. (00:25:37) My question is is reports have been that young teenage women have been using meth more as a way to diet and stuff like that. I'm wondering what is being done to raise the self-esteem of these girls to prevent them from using and to help these women to be on that big body image to help them. Recover (00:25:58) let's talk first about the Hazelden report that came out actually last week that there is statistical information that young girls are attracted to meth by the promise of elevated energy and weight loss. They say that the effects can be very seductive for young girls trying to lose weight. Comments are have you seen that in your travels Debra's you travel around to communities did this come as a surprise to you? Because we know that weight loss is certainly one of the effects of methamphetamine use we heard the guy earlier in the series saying he lost 50 pounds in a matter of weeks on methamphetamine. Are you getting statistical information or anecdotal information as you travel around I didn't have to go very far from home to get my first bit of information when we were first working on methamphetamine in early 2001. My daughter asked me what I was working on. I told her and she let it slip that she had friends using this drug and she said but they're not like druggies mom. They weren't drug users. This was just some stuff that you use to lose weight. And this is a pattern that has repeated itself all over the Midwest and and is not at all surprising for us in Soda one thing that is a little surprising and frightening. Is that where we are meeting and speaking with and hearing about young girls who are who for whom methamphetamine is the first drug. Typically you see alcohol and marijuana and tobacco and maybe then something else and we're hearing because of this is just something that you can take to lose weight. We're hearing about it. A lot of young female addicts who had no intention of using the drug to get high used it for weight loss and became addicted you're listening to a special Main Street broadcast on meth and Minnesota. I'm Rachel rebe were broadcasting from the Studio's of Cayenne S are in Collegeville. This is your opportunity to ask the experts about methamphetamine one of the most addictive and readily available drugs in the country experts say it's reaching near epic epidemic levels in rural Minnesota. Our guests are Paul Stevens with the Bureau of Criminal. For henshin Deborah Dirk and of the Minnesota Department of Health and Roger Hannah Fergus Falls a recovering meth addict. You can call and join our conversation by dialing 1-800-222-8477 T8 28 where you can call six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand. If you're in the Twin Cities, you also have the option of sending your question online, log on to Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. And this question did come online. Ken says, my neighbor is a meth drug dealer. We've been trying for over four years to get him caught turning him in etcetera. How can we get results Paul Stevens if you suspect somebody, you know, or somebody who lives near you is dealing meth amphetamine or cooking methamphetamine. What are the steps you go through (00:29:14) the first thing is always communicate with the local authorities. I don't care if it's a small town with one police officer or if you're in Minneapolis or st. Paul you need to communicate with the sheriff's department or the police department narcotics unit the information that you have and the information and the things that you see it's difficult to we get many calls like this every day the but it that's how a lot of our arrests are made are from tips from the neighbors from people who see and witness things that are obviously involved with drug trafficking. (00:29:51) Jennifer sent in this question. What do you think about regulating retail establishes in what they can sell and we've heard a lot about this drug chains limiting how many packages of Sudafed that they will sell in a lot of cases. They've moved some of these things behind the counter but there are also elements of the methamphetamine recipe that are not in drug stores that are maybe in farm supply stores or in your neighbors Farm yard, Deborah how effective has it been. I'm really happy. Someone asked a question about the limitation of precursors. The number one precursor the or ingredient needed to make this stuff is pseudoephedrine and ephedrine containing over the counter meds. We are incredibly grateful for all of the company's Target Walmart Thrifty White Drug and others who have voluntarily limited the number of packages. That one may buy in their in their stores. However, voluntary programs are not going to do it. I'm a limit the past the number of packages sold in my store to to but that doesn't prevent the 11 12 year old from filling his pockets o thefts go unchecked and then there are many places that won't volunteer in one Minnesota county. The sheriff told me last week. Finally after three years. We've gotten the X gas station to stop selling cases behind the counter. The only way to keep people from getting the pseudoephedrine and ephedrine containing products that they absolutely must have to make math is to have a Statewide law that that really locks these things down. Are you guys going after that? Is this is this on your wish list of legislation? (00:31:43) Absolutely. It was on our wish list this year, but in men meant was put in there and it was taken out of, Oklahoma. Passed a bill this past year restricting the sale of such products to behind the county counter and only a in pharmacies. This is exactly what we're going to be looking at next year obviously compliance isn't working and it won't work literally 80% of the meth labs would slowed or stopped overnight if they're unable to obtain readily the ephedrine pseudoephedrine products that they can just easily go from store to store and purchase her steal presently. (00:32:23) We have Kelly on the phone from Prior Lake. Good afternoon. (00:32:26) Welcome to Main Street. Thanks so much for taking my call. I am so happy that you did a program like this. I think this methamphetamine use throughout the state needs to be looked at much more closely. And first of all, I want to congratulate Roger for being clean and sober for four to 14 months. I just ask that you keep it up and be a great Daddy to your to your babies that you have and this is which leads me to my first Question you had said that you had started drinking and smoking at the age of nine and I was wondering where your parents were because I feel like that we're just really letting our children down whether we're not watching them because they're drinking and smoking and it's in the leading to marijuana use such young ages. And then the second question that I have in this is more of a radical approach, but I think that I have a radical approach and I don't think that I speak of only of a few people these women that choose to take their first hit off of methamphetamine and become addicted are producing babies that are urinating acid and are causing scars on their bottoms and can't be said and there are women literally that would leverage their mortgage or leveraged everything that they owned have children. And it breaks my heart to see that we're not doing something for these children because they really don't have a voice. They really have nothing to say they're they're addictive parent is ingesting the stuff in their in their bodies and their unfortunately the benefactor of that person not benefactor of that I should say and I think we need to take a look at radical approaches such as sterilization of these women that have one meth maybe and Roger and how would you (00:34:12) respond to that? I mean we're talking about strong stuff here sterilizing women who are drug addicted good idea, or is that not going to (00:34:23) help? I don't believe that will help. You know regardless there's always going to be women having babies that are meth-addicted. (00:34:35) Now, you have four year old twins was your partner using meth when she was pregnant. (00:34:41) No, we actually both sobered up during her pregnancy and started using again after they were (00:34:46) born. Any thoughts temper that you have about this? Well, I'm a firm believer in Redemption and I think that we as a society need to intervene when we find a mom a pregnant woman a mother of small children who is using and potentially endangering her children. I believe that we need to give those parents an opportunity to clean up their act and get their kids back and that we need to place those children permanently elsewhere. If Mom can't get her act together, but I believe I can't I can't agree with sterilization for any reason. I believe that that isn't a step that any society ought to take Andrew from Arcadia. Wisconsin is on the line. Good afternoon, Andrew Welcome to our program. (00:35:37) Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my call. I have been clean for about five years, but I have to agree with Roger that is a difficult and still day-to-day. Struggle to keep my mind off of math. I started with crank and I snorted and smoked it and and I also have children and my wife and I were both addicted and we ended up moving back to this area to get away from it. And and it seems to have followed us here. And just in the last year I noticed I have friends who had told me that they are in that they have dealers and and it's really scary to me that you know, because I don't I just don't know how I'd react if all the sudden I found myself in the same room with methamphetamine. (00:36:28) Andrew let me ask you a question. You said that you've you're recovered you've been clean for five years. Is it hard because you remember the great times about methamphetamine and you kind of block out all the terrible times. I mean we heard the first hour of this show about meth addicts scratching their skin until they're covered with sores because they think they're bugs under their skin and their there obviously are some down times in there. Do you just kind of not remember those? (00:36:58) Well, that's that's kind of what's kept me going so far as I remember that I never got to the point where I was scratching at my skin or I just was not a Dependable person. I became very flaky. I was simply living to make it to my next math time. I meant next time I was going to do math and and my Our Lives started to just seem to fall apart in which we decided we needed to just get away from that. This year but there's to this day I still cannot sit down and play cards with my family because that's the playing cards as a sort of thing me and my mouth friends used to do we play cards four days straight without getting up from the table. We just not eat and not do anything to sit and play cards for days and every night after work. We'd play cards all night and get to stop to go to work, you know, and so that was one of them things were that I just can't do anymore because it simply brings back too many too many urges and it's I've attached those sorts of things to doing drugs and I don't I can't do that anymore. So I've lost some of the enjoyment of life to math to this day (00:38:10) have there been other long-term effects in terms of the functioning of your mind. We had a question that came online today that about the psychiatric After Effects. We heard a woman earlier in the show talk about she still sees things that aren't there she hears voices. Places that are not there have you suffered from some of those long-term effects? (00:38:33) Well, we used to call them the shadow people the people you see on the corner of your eye and as soon as you turn to look they'd be they weren't there and I still to this day have some of that it's not quite as prevalent as it used to be but I as to my mind I am now I'm about to graduate from college is summer. I'm doing an internship and then I'm done. So I still retain a lot of my capabilities but I do notice that I'm a lot more depressed. I'm not as much of an outgoing person as I used to be. It has changed my personality in that aspect (00:39:09) has it changed your personality Roger. I didn't know you before (00:39:13) for me when I was using. Yeah, I can agree with our collar for me. I was a lot more outgoing while I was using for a while until I been up for a couple of days then it was locking myself in my apartment shades are closed. No. He's getting (00:39:28) in so the paranoia was definitely there. How about that? How about the aggression? How about the violent behavior that some people talk about did you get quite violent when you were using math (00:39:39) for me? Yeah. I got very (00:39:41) violent. I'm glad you're saying that because your wife is behind you and she has already nodded. Yes. So explain to me how that played out. (00:39:49) Well, basically I perceived everything is a threat, you know, everybody is trying to threaten me trying to take me on and especially when something threatens my usage like, you know, if somebody told me that they were going to tell on me or whatever. I became very violent at times. I tried to stab people. I I've searched endlessly for guns to try and shoot somebody. Luckily. I've never found one. I've been stabbed and or close to being stabbed, you know, it's very violent and especially when you're trying to threaten the (00:40:24) drug Paul is this one of the difficult things for Enforcement the unpredictability we heard the officers say I talk slowly. I move slowly. What else can you tell officers or family members who are dealing with people on (00:40:40) methamphetamine. The biggest thing is always to know your subject. Although the officers making a car stopped at three in the morning on somebody's been up for eight days and they have no idea they have to react differently, but they also have to protect themselves last year in Minnesota. All of our Mass homicides were committed by people who were using methamphetamine at the time in Southwestern Minnesota. Our agent worked on eight homicides. He said six of them were related to methamphetamine use that's why we have to keep up on on top of this methamphetamine problem because the violence and the victims will continue to pour out as they have. There are people who are dead today and families who have lost loved ones because of methamphetamine not counting the suicides and the car accidents and the Fires and the murdering of defenseless people that we go on discovered. (00:41:37) The question came online Paul is meth we've talked about meth and Minnesota. That was the title of our series. How about the other states is meth a problem Nationwide. Is it any worse here? (00:41:51) It's not worse here than Iowa's problem whose population is probably a third of ours their problem, maybe upwards of three times of what we have Missouri's problem is much worse. Arkansas is much worse all (00:42:06) sort of painful in the Heartland. We like to think right. It's always worse on the (00:42:09) coasts. It was 30 years ago methamphetamine. That's where it started in the southwest and Texas and California, New Mexico and Arizona. The methamphetamine has spread and right now if you live in Maine or New Jersey, you're probably not going to have a meth problem, but five years from now, you will definitely have a math problem. It is swallowing up and moving towards the Northeast right now. It's devastating parts of Ohio North Carolina and (00:42:35) the sounds like a (00:42:36) plague Paul. It's a disease that is extremely catchy and P and it's very difficult to treat (00:42:45) and has anybody been successful are there states that have been dealing with the problem longer than we have that we're kind of looking to as well you were able to turn it around there. You were able to slow it (00:42:57) down as we coordinate our efforts. We communicate with States who have had a problem longer than we have like Washington State, Oregon and California Washington State last year actually had a decrease of 300 meth labs, which is outstanding how they did that was through strict zero-tolerance enforcement monitoring a precursors and (00:43:22) education. So those are things that we're trying to do here. We're (00:43:25) doing everything that they're (00:43:26) trying we're talking to Paul. Even with the Bureau of Criminal apprehension, he is one of our guests today. We also have Deborah Durkin from the Minnesota Department of Health and Roger Hannah recovering meth amphetamine addict. This question came online. Why does methamphetamine affect the teeth? I've kind of wondered that myself because that's mentioned so often about they've lost 9 of their teeth. They've lost 10 of our teeth Roger you've got to Full mouth of (00:43:54) teeth. Yeah, I've got a full mouth of teeth (00:43:56) myself, but it does affect teeth why Deborah you need saliva to avoid cavities and when we stay awake 5 6 10 12 days at a time the body becomes dehydrated the saliva goes away so gum disease and Cavities are produced and then meth users often grind teeth constantly so grind grind grind lose the teeth lose the bone. So the teeth and gums and mouth Health are really attacked and affected in a variety of ways. So it's not so much that the toxins or the chemicals. It's more of what your body's doing as a result of that combination, but it's grinding is a big is a big part of it and then dehydration. The other second part of This Woman's question was is the weight loss from methamphetamine only from not eating or is there some Chemical reaction from taking that drug that causes your metabolism to speed up. No, it's just anorexia it is. Thank you. Let's go to Ginger in Fairmount. Good afternoon Ginger. Welcome to Main Street. Hello. Yes Ginger. Go ahead with your (00:45:11) question. I was just going to ask Paul and Deborah since I do know them if they could discuss what's being done in both legislature and the counties to deal with the clan Labs that have not been cleaned up yet. And what needs to be done in the future? (00:45:26) Okay. What do we do? Hi Ginger. Well, we're going at the in two ways. The Minnesota Department of Health has had a program for three years with a lot of assistance from other state agencies working on getting it a getting a clean up ordinance in every single Minnesota County right now. We have twenty three ordinances in place another 20 in the works and most of the rest of the 87 Counties have some plans about instituting an ordinance that will require cleanup of labs Senator. Rosen's Bill also required mandatory lab clean up according to mdh. Lines and I will add that the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines are adapted from those of Washington state who really was a leader in this but right now we have only progress and without that Statewide Law Without that without Senator rosen's law going into effect. We will not be cleaning up all of the labs in Minnesota this question came online and I think it's directed To You Paul are there signs visible signs if your neighbor is selling or cooking meth things to watch for I hear people talk about the noxious odors, but what kind of a noxious odor (00:46:48) it can smell anything from like anhydrous ammonia or ammonia smell to sort of biting. It's a biting or burning burning smell or a bitter smell sometimes it can even smell like a fingernail polish solvents and chemicals look for garbage, that would indicate In fact during a methamphetamine multiple cans of different products that are usually thrown into a burn pit in the backyard. Sometimes even in the front yard or set out at the curb or thrown in the neighbor neighbor's yard. Also look for characteristics that would indicate people in the house don't want you looking in our Windows the paranoid behavior of closing the curtains and duct taping Windows not letting people in the door. Also if they have children, which is sad, sometimes the children smell like chemicals if they come over to play or ask for food, which is not uncommon you may notice that they're dirty and that they may smell like an odd chemical like they've been in a facility where they've been like painting. It's not uncommon also to see surveillance systems that can be purchased cheaply now at at Walmart and Target where they'll have cameras set up on the front door or looking down the driveway. (00:48:05) So if you see an old shack and they've got a Surveillance system, they're probably not protecting their (00:48:11) valuables. Well, probably not because most people don't have to do that to protect themselves (00:48:19) Fred from Minneapolis is on the line. Good afternoon, Fred. Welcome to Main Street. Friday we got you on the line. Well, let me tell you what Fred was going to ask if he had not driven out of range. He wanted to know if there's an antidote like Methadone for heroin. I thought that was an interesting question. Is there Roger you say no (00:48:41) know when I was in treatment, they told me that there was nothing that they could give me. (00:48:46) In fact, there isn't even anything that can be given to reduce the withdrawal symptoms John from Egan's on the line. Good afternoon Johnny with us. John of we got you. Okay. Well, we will let them call us back at one eight hundred two four two 28 28. How do you recognize a meth addict Roger up at you are very in tune to it. Okay. Could you could you spot one on the street? (00:49:17) Definitely somebody that's abnormally high-strung vigorously chewing gum grinding the teeth abnormal movements. Just they seem abnormally high-strung. (00:49:32) What would you add to that Debra? I would look for gaunt gaunt Figure Weight Loss the skin sores occasionally protruding or bulging eyes dark circles under the eyes, but mainly it's that severe weight loss and the general agitation movement of Limbs. Let's try the calls one more time Robert from st. Paul. Have we got you on the line? Yes, you do. Great. Go ahead with your question, (00:50:02) please. Well, my question is I have a family member that has been doing methamphetamines for I was very close to 20 years. Now. Is there any scientific studies at this time that shows the long-term effects of usage and if so, is there any therapies that have come about to help reverse these effects they seem to be very agitated. They can't seem to focus and so forth. Is there any therapies or medicines at this time that could help reverse this and also for those that are may have used it for a little less than 20 years or so forth what is the immediate effects that those users will will will see (00:50:42) Debra well I guess I would start with your family member who's a user for 20 years they're still using (00:50:51) I would say probably on occasions yes (00:50:54) okay well stop using and and and then the we see many 20-year users or by that time have they usually stopped or died 20 years is a long time I would guess that that has been punctuated by periods of being in jail or or not using but the human body has enormous variation that is unusual so the long-term personality changes any way of reversing that if their central nervous system damage there will be some repair by a healthy body and some permanent damage long-term personality depends upon whether that dopamine producing equipment is broken or has just taken a temporary hit after Years, I would expect some permanent damage to the central nervous system and other organ systems Roger you get the last word today any advice for somebody considering using methamphetamine. (00:51:54) My advice is just stay away. As far as ways you can it did despite on how strong you believe you are. There is absolutely no taken control of method takes control of you. (00:52:06) You're listening to a Main Street special on meth and Minnesota Roger hon, Deborah Durkin and Paul Stevens. Thanks for being with us today. The special Main Street radio broadcast is a production of Minnesota Public Radio. Our Engineers are Cliff Bentley in Collegeville and Randy Johnson in st. Paul. This show was produced by Sarah Mayer. The executive producer is Kate Smith. We invite you to visit our website at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org where you'll be able to hear this broadcast and also access the seven-part special series on meth and Minnesota. It's all available at Minnesota Public Radio dot org, Minnesota public. Radio's Main Street team. Consists of 12 reporters at MPR bureaus across Minnesota. I'm Rachael Ray be Minnesota public radio's Main Street radio coverage is supported by blandin Foundation based in Grand Rapids dedicated to strengthening rural Minnesota communities through its leadership development programs grants and public policy initiatives. (00:53:02) When you contribute to Minnesota Public Radio, you could win a trip for two to the largest state of the union Alaska. It's seven times the size of Minnesota. So while you may not be able to see all of Alaska, you might just see some soaring mountains some sprawling glaciers and maybe even a polar bear the trip is courtesy of Northwest World Vacations offering complete vacation packages. There's no contribution necessary to enter but the deadline is Friday go to Minnesota Public Radio dot org and donate today. This is 91.1 knnow Minneapolis st. Paul Twin Cities weather for this afternoon partly cloudy the high around 80 degrees 40% chance of showers or thundershowers this afternoon tonight the rain chances increase to 60% the low tonight 55 to 60 degrees and for the weekend, it should be partly cloudy most of the day's Friday through Sunday with a chance of showers in the evening the hives around 75 degrees.