COLUMBIA CITY â€” The Drug Task Force made a presentation at the Columbia City Common Council meeting Tuesday on the dangers of methamphetamine, its origins, how it is made and why it has become a big problem.
Detectives Gary Archbold and Bill Brice were both present at the meeting, as Brice said, â€śThis is certainly by far the number one problem in America as far as Iâ€™m concerned. I know itâ€™s a big problem. We try to bust them and put them in jail. Itâ€™s affecting numerous people, people that cannot get off of it. We put them in jail, theyâ€™ll be there a couple of years, and the only thing thatâ€™s keeping them going is knowing when they get out, they get to go make meth. We hear that same story over and over.â€ť
Brice said the precursors for meth are readily available, and two hours after collecting everything needed, the meth could be ready to use.
â€śThis is a bad problem, and any help we can get is really important to our community,â€ť said Brice.
According to Brice, meth sells on the street for about $50 a gram, with a good cook, a box of Sudafed (active ingredient of pseudoephedrine) can equal over $200.
â€śThe whole process is as simple as removing one oxygen molecule from pseudoephedrine to make meth,â€ť said Brice.
Common precursors for meth include Sudafed, lithium batteries as well as ammonium nitrate, found in instant cold packs.
â€śThatâ€™s the kind of stuff weâ€™d like to know about,â€ť said Brice. â€śThey need Sudafed, and you can only buy so much of it a month,â€ť said Brice. â€śAfter that, they either pay you $50 to go buy a box or theyâ€™ll get people to buy other things for them, especially the Sudafed. So theyâ€™ve actually made the problem even worse because they are getting people involved who arenâ€™t even in the culture.â€ť
The other thing Brice said they do is give away some of the meth.
â€śPeople are going to be affected differently, but we hear it a lot that if they try it once they get addicted to it,â€ť said Brice. â€śPeople are usually not just involved in meth. Theyâ€™ve been involved in other things or their family has been involved in other things.â€ť
Brice said to watch out for bottles that contain leftovers from meth, especially bottles with holes in the caps.
â€śThe hydrochloric gas can turn to hydrochloric acid, which if it is inhaled, it can burn the lungs,â€ť said Brice.