More Teens Turning to 'Ice' to Get High! 

More Teens Turning to 'Ice' to Get High! 
Posted by FoM on March 14, 1999 at 16:20:42 PT

More central Ohio teens are using methamphetamine, drug addiction experts say, and law enforcement officials are on notice.The powder stimulant -- often called "ice'' on the street -- is popular among drug traffickers because it can be created cheaply.
"It's self-manufactured. You can make it in your garage,'' said Luceille Fleming, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. "We've seen an uptake in the use of it in our young people, which is very disturbing,'' said Paul H. Coleman, president and chief executive officer of Maryhaven, an addiction-treatment facility. Methamphetamine, a controlled substance that can kill, still ranks far behind more popular drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin and marijuana in Ohio.Less than half of 1 percent of 95,221 Ohioans who were admitted to publicly funded substance-abuse treatment centers in 1998 listed ice among their top three drug choices, statistics from the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services show."It's not showing up in our treatment statistics yet,'' Fleming said. "But we expect it will.''Experts cite the general trend in Ohio and other Midwestern states for an 18-month lag on drugs that become popular in coastal cities."In the words of most of the patients I have talked to, you ask them what they use, about 90 percent of the time it is, 'Whatever I can get,' '' Coleman said. "You'll find people who use ice, but not people who exclusively use ice.''Methamphetamines were created in the 1960s and '70s and were popular in Hawaii for decades before moving to the continental United States.Methamphetamines aren't as easy to withdraw from as alcohol, Coleman said, although it varies among patients.Ice often is packaged in a penny- size plastic bag called a "paper'' that contains less than 1 gram of the drug, which can be smoked, snorted or ingested. The street value ranges from $50 to $100 per gram, depending on purity and the amount purchased. A gram is about the weight of a paper clip."The wrong dose can be fatal,'' Coleman said.Detective Julie Joseph of the Columbus Police Division's narcotics bureau said powder forms of methamphetamine look more like cocaine than ice chips. Other common names are "crank'' and "crystal meth.''The drug comes in many forms, she said."The true ice looks like actual slivers of ice, but if on the streets of Columbus they are calling it ice then I guess it's ice,'' she said.The drug seems to be popping up in predominantly white suburbs and rural communities nationwide, Joseph said."We also know that it probably will become more popular,'' Joseph said.The Franklin County prosecutor's office is seeking tougher sentences for methamphetamine offenders. The offense is a felony that could carry prison time.
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