19 Child L. Prac. 1 (2000-2001)

handle is hein.journals/chilawpt19 and id is 1 raw text is: CTh i  .d  Practice

Vol. 19 No. 1

March 2000

Helping Lawyers Help Kids

Methamphetamine: The Big Red Flag
by Claire Sandt

An Oregon mother:
By the time I was full-blown
into meth, my head was on fire
all the time. I couldn't stand the
sight of my kids-I'd scream
for them to get the hell in their
rooms. I didn't want to look at
them. I would smack or back-
hand them about nothing. I
threw things. Once I had a
perfect set of pots and pans and
they're all dented now.
If I hit them and they cried,
I got more pissed because it was
like God's way of getting me
back. But once I remember
looking at my 13-year-old
daughter when she was covered
with scratches and bruises. I re-
member telling her I didn't
know what to do, and I remem-
ber thinking to myself, My
God, look what I've done to
you, and I don't think we're
going to be able to pull our lives
back together.
Source: The Oregonlan, August 22, 1999.

M ethamphetamine (meth) is
emerging as a drug of choice for
many adults throughout the country. It
is popular because it is cheap and easy
to make, and provides a longer-lasting
high than other drugs. No other drug
poses nearly as many risks to children
and families. As an attorney, judge, or
caseworker involved in the child
welfare system, you need to know
what meth is, how it affects the user,
the risks it poses to children, and how
to intervene to protect children and
What Meth Is
Meth is a highly potent, addictive
stimulant that affects the central
nervous system. It comes in many
forms: pills, capsules, powder resem-
bling granulated crystals, and chunks
or rocks (known as ice). It can be
smoked, snorted, orally ingested, or
injected. It was originally derived from
amphetamine for use in nasal decon-
gestants and bronchial inhalers. Meth
is now illegal, except for limited
medical purposes, such as treating
weight control, narcolepsy, and
attention deficit disorder.
Common street names for meth
are speed, crank, go-fast, zip,
and cristy. The smokable form of
meth is referred to as L.A., ice,
crystal, 64glass, or quartz.
How Meth Afftcts the User
Meth affects users in different ways

depending on how it is taken. If it is
smoked or injected intravenously, the
user experiences an extremely pleasur-
able intense rush or flash that lasts
a few minutes. If it is snorted or taken
orally, it produces euphoria, but not a
rush. Meth stimulates brain cells by
releasing high levels of the natural
chemical dopamine. Dopamine
enhances mood and body movement.
Users may become addicted quickly
and use meth frequently and in higher
doses as their tolerance levels
Often dubbed poor man's co-
caine, meth has similar behavioral
and physiological effects on the user
as cocaine. Because meth stays in the
(Continued on page 2)
What's Inside:
If You Don't Think Health
Care is Your Job, Think
Making it Solo
Child Welfire Events
Curtailing Continuances

E-mail: childlawpractice@staff.abanet.org  *

lntemet: http://www.abanet.org/child

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