Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2003 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Mark Passwaters, Staff Writer


The Community Gets Educated About Methamphetamines.

ALBANY - What do Sudafed tablets, lighter fluid and the phosphorus
tops to matches have in common? Nothing, except in one case: they are
all ingredients used in making methamphetamine. Methamphetamine, or
"meth" as it is popularly known, is quickly becoming one of the most
popular drugs in the United States, and Southwest Georgia in
particular. In order to better educate members of the community about
the drug and how it is produced, experts on the subject held a
two-hour seminar Wednesday at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.

Maj. Bill Berry of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit and Sgt. Vic Camp of
the Albany Police Department said methamphetamine use was skyrocketing
because it is cheap, powerful and easy to produce. Berry said that a
$200 spending spree at Wal-Mart would get enough of the products
needed to make 2 grams of the drug worth $5,600 on the street.

"I can go most any place in town and get all this, and I don't have to
worry about smuggling," he said.

Berry and Camp said "meth labs" can appear anywhere, from the kitchen
of a nice house to a "Beavis and Butthead" lab that consists only of
two large plastic cups connected together by bendable straws. Berry
described several of the processes used to create methamphetamine,
telling the audience the makers of the drug will recycle items -
including their own urine - to make more of it.

The combination of chemicals used in creating methamphetamine can
easily be fatal, but Berry said people with little or no knowledge of
chemistry make the drugs in their own home.

"That's the spooky part of this thing," he said. "You've got Jethro
Bodine (a character from the "Beverly Hillbillies" TV show) making
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