Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Methamphetamine use is huge in my hometown of Crescent City, CA. After all it sits 20 minutes south of the Oregon border, the birth place of social problems seen by meth. I'm pretty sure meth is why my wallet was stolen at the end of my spring break.

For many years I had no idea that the people who look like the lady pictured here, where on meth. I just thought they were the regular, impoverished, whitefolk of my upbringing. I can remember the presence of meth in my home during childhood, and thank God it was relatively brief. I suppose the good news is, I got a sister out of it.

After moving from my parents house at 18, I soon came across my good friends and housemates smoking meth from a broken lightbulb. At one time they offered me a "line". It was yellow, so I declined, stating that as my reason. I've heard it's made with bleach and various chemicals, the necessary ingredient being ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, a.k.a. Sudafed. The whole drug is cooked up in household kitchens or industrial sized "meth labs", that are set up in barns or garages. My boyfriend of the time and myself went to visit his family, who are of Mexican decent, and who were also in "the business". His naive, Christian friend came over to pick us up for a night out and asked if they were making horchata. (If you don't know, horchata is a completely yummy, sweetened, vanilla rice drink spiced with nutmeg or cinnamon.) Sometimes while manufacturing meth, a fire will start. From my understanding it's because alcohol is used to strip the coating off the cold medicine pills. Anyway, during that same trip I read that a meth fire had erupted in a mobile home. In the fire, three children under the ages of 2 had died, while something like four adults, survived.

I'm not exactly sure what makes someone do meth that first time. Once you have the rush of dopamine that comes from one hit of meth (crank, dope, speed) you are at risk of wanting another. I have friends with stories of their own about their days of meth use. One subsisted on Dr. Pepper and ultimately ended up the victim of multiple rapes, when she was in the throws of addiction. Others only have depression, anxiety, social phobias, and sleep disorders as a result.

Apparently meth is making it's way eastward, gaining the attention of Congress, finally. With over 1.5 million people regularly using meth, how many more kids are experiencing the side effects; the lies, thievery, neglect, physical and sexual abuse? Good people of Moot Montage, in the dialect you might hear outside of a Crescent City meth dealer's trailer, they ain't callin' it an epidemic fer nothin'.


michael said...

Tweekers, Speed-Freaks, whatever you want to call it/them are truely the new scourge of our times. Thanks for addressing it. I've seen countless friends swallowed up by it, never to return and I was almost one of them.
Kudos on your image-manipulation skills Carrie, by-the-way.

Carrie said...


Yeah, it's intense eh? I didn't do that though, the photo is from the link you will find if you click the title.

Anonymous said...

Yes this is entirely frightening. Sadness and yuck. Why does this exist? Is it pointless to wonder if there a deeper problem?

Susan said...

Yeah, this is why I'm moving me and mine outta this town. Tired of the "norm" it has created for Del Norte County.

Carrie said...

I think there are certainly many deeper problems, and it's a good point. That is the approach that rehab seems to take, from my understanding.

Good to "see" you Susan, happy endings do happen. And while meth is pretty much all thru the country, there are pockets of meth use that can be avoided I'm sure.