Faces of Meth

By: Jill Schroeder
By: Jill Schroeder

Statistics show the odds of someone recovering from this dangerous drug are less than four percent.

Detective Sergeant Frank Washington works with the Michigan State Police Meth Investigation Team.

Washington says meth users typically have similar physical and mental characteristics.

"I see that somebody's aged in 10 years, what most people take 50 years to look like; for someone who's 30, they may look like they're 50 or 65-70 years old."

Detective Lieutenant Stephen Galbreath works with the Michigan State Police Jackson Area Meth Team.

"They'll go through numerous mood swings in a 15-20 minute period of time."

Through police research, they found after months of meth use, the users are noticeably thinner, disheveled, and aged, often times, visibly emotional in the after pictures.

But perhaps one of the most noticeable changes is the formation of what are called "crank sores" on their skin.

Galbreath: "They imagine that there are bugs on their skin where they just keep picking and picking at their skin; they call them 'crank bugs'."

Despite what's happening to them, meth addicts are often so desperate to get their next high, they turn to the unthinkable.

Washington: "What they are doing now, is catching meth that comes out of their urine, and reprocess it and use it again to get high off of, so people are actually smoking urine."

Schroeder: "But even with these warnings about desperate mental and physical conditions, statistics show the addiction rate is so high, that out of 100 people who try meth even twice, 90 will become addicted. If any of those addicts do become clean for eleven months, and someone puts a hit of meth in front of them, they will return to the habit 100 percent of the time."

McBride: "It was pretty miserable there towards the end of my using, and I don't want to go back to that; that's my biggest motivation."

John McBride used meth for eight years and is now clean. He is now part of a program in Allegan County that specifically helps meth users stay on the right track.

He was able to recover, but it hasn't been easy.

If you would like to report a meth tip to the Michigan State Police call, 866-METH-TIP.

For a list of how to locate a treatment center, click the "As Seen On" link.

"Faces of Meth" mug shots in the video news story provided courtesy the Allegan County Sheriff's Office, and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

jill.schroeder@wilx.com


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