Pubdate: Tue, 18 Apr 2006
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
Copyright: 2006 The Journal Times
Author: Janine Anderson
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


RACINE - Methamphetamines, huffing and other risky behaviors will be 
discussed at the Wednesday night Public Protection and Justice System 
Committee meeting at the Racine Public Library.

While the highly addictive drug also known as meth has yet to appear 
on a wide scale in Racine County, officials hope the discussion will 
bring awareness to a problem other communities are struggling to


The topic is part of a series of presentations by the Racine County 
Board on emerging community issues.

"They're issues that affect the teens and the students in our 
community," said committee Vice Chairman Mark Gleason. "We don't want 
to see any tragedies befall any of our


He said the threat of widespread methamphetamine abuse is one people 
are worried about.

"The meth problem can be a terrible, terrible problem," he said. 
"That is a drug that is pure poison. It's much different than heroin, 
cocaine or marijuana use.

"It's really a serious issue. We hope it never affects us here in 
Racine. We have to have both eyes open to know it's a serious issue out there."

Sheriff's Department Sgt. Don Wheeler will make a presentation on 
methamphetamine abuse, outlining the risks of a drug that, if it 
takes hold in Racine County, could affect many areas of the community.

Meth, like crack and other amphetamines, speeds the body up, Wheeler 
said. It can be smoked, snorted or injected, and has a more intense 
and longer-lasting high than crack cocaine.

"It's a very addictive drug," Wheeler said. "It's probably 10 times 
more addictive than crack. Then there's all the social and economic 
problems that go with it. Child abuse, child neglect, theft. It's the 
same thing that comes with other drug abuses. It just seems more 
accelerated and greater with meth."

The drug has yet to take hold in Racine County, Wheeler said, but the 
department is trying to prepare for when it does.

Gleason said the presentation topics grew out of earlier committee 
meetings in other parts of the county. By making the information 
available to people in different Racine County communities, Gleason 
hopes that people with information about how these issues are 
affecting them will come forward.

"We like to be able to put the programs on to give awareness of the 
problem," Gleason said. "We do want to have input from the public so 
we have a better idea of what's going on."

Tackling these emerging issues before they take root in Racine County 
is important, Gleason said.

"If we get rid of the problem at a younger age, you don't have a 
problem later on," he said. "We deal with juvenile detention, truancy 
and alternatives to incarceration. Where can we stem the tide of some of this?"
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