Lessons about meth labs taught by Drug Agents - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lessons about meth labs taught by Drug Agents

Meth paraphernalia Meth paraphernalia

September 10, 2003

Albany -- Methamphetamine is a growing problem drug in South Georgia. Drug agents report, on average, they bust a meth lab every 4 days. So the Drug Commander taught a seminar Wednesday, showing people how they can recognize a meth lab.

 "I'm not talking about California, not talking about New York, I'm talking about Albany, Dougherty County, Southwest Georgia." Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry teaching people that meth labs use common ingredients to make a very addictive and dangerous drug.

Major Berry said "They are nothing more than a decongestant, but people will take this and extract something out of it, and make a chemical base, and this is the start of methamphetamine."

Meth labs in South Georgia are a growing problem. Cocaine is more expensive and has to be imported. More drug dealers like meth because it's cheap and they can make it themselves. But it is highly dangerous.

Major Berry said "We've got people who have no chemistry background besides something they learned while in jail, or from a friend, or off the Internet, and now they are out there mixing chemicals, and causing all kinds of problems."

About 30 people attended the meth seminar. Some said it was an eye opening experience. Al Hatcher said "I guess I was ignorant about all of it. I did not know anything like this was available in Albany."

Phoebe Putney sent a number of their employees who work with drug addicts to the seminar, to learn more about meth. Judy Payne said "It's so inexpensive, so easy to make, and so readily available, it's attractive to addicts."

 Major Berry said "It helps the public by seeing what the dangers are and what chemicals are used, and how dangerous it can be to the community."

Meth labs use decongestants like Sudafede for the amphetamine, the basic drug in meth. Iodine, ether, starting fluid, matches, batteries, glass jars are some of the other common tools used to make meth.

Drug agents hope if you know about meth labs, and suspect one, you will call and report it.

posted at 4:40 PM by jimw@walb.com

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