(Editor’s Note: This is a first in a series on illegal drugs in Jackson County.)

JACKSON COUNTY – Methamphetamine has reared its ugly head, after being mostly replaced by heroin in local elicit drug trade.

Pressure from law enforcement backed by state and federal government legislation made access to cold medicines containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine difficult to acquire curtailing the prevalence of small labs and cooks.

  However, the importation of “ice” from Mexico has brought methamphetamine back with a vengeance, and Jackson County lawmen are now seeing more and more of the more potent form of meth hitting the streets locally, according to Sheriff Tony Boggs.

A home meth lab could made a couple of ounces of meth, but a Mexican drug cartel super lab can churn out 10 pounds of ice every 24 hours, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office to Congress. 

More quantity has driven the price down and bolstered the resurgence of the scourage.  

Ice is said to be about twice as potent as homemade meth. It takes a smaller amount to of ice to get the “rush” the stimulant provides.

Users are also attracted by its appearance. The super labs make ice look crystal clear like the rock candy of our youth. Ice is clean-looking as opposed to the homemade variety which is dark ivory-beige in color.

Ice is typically smoked or injected but can also be swallowed or inhaled. Effects can last for six hours, followed by difficulty in sleeping for several days. Meth can cause bizarre, dangerous behavior and devastating physical and mental health issues. Teeth rot and addicts look years older than they are. 

Ice is a stimulant drug, meaning it speeds up messages traveling between brain and body. It is one of the most, if not they most, destructive illicit drugs, and can cause violent outbursts, severe mood swings, paranoid delusions, hallucinations and increased sex drive.

Staph infections  resulting in sores on the body are possible and can be spread as users compulsively pick and scratch due to hallucinations of bugs crawling under the skin.

Kidney and lung disorders, brain damage, excessive weight loss, liver disease, diminished social ability, excess -ive weight loss and permanent psychological problems are side effects of methamphetamine use.

It requires a thorough recovery program to help a person gain their mental and physical balance after being addicted to ice. Cleansing the body of residues left from ingesting ice is an important step in the recovery process.