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Scourge of Meth Across the Tri-Cities Region of Tennessee

Meth and prescription drug abuse has exploded across the Tri-Cities Virginia/Tennessee region. Meth to lower class whites has become the same scourge that crack cocaine is to ghetto blacks. While the interstate trafficking is often blacks and Hispanics, in-home meth lads are nearly always white.

Who uses methamphetamine?

According to a 2004 National Survey, approximately 11.7 million Americans ages 12 and older reported trying methamphetamine at least once during their lifetimes. Among students surveyed as part of the 2005 Monitoring the Future study, 3.1% of eighth graders, 4.1% of tenth graders, and 4.5% of twelfth graders reported lifetime use of methamphetamine. During 2004, 5.2% of college students and 9% of young adults ages 19-28 reported lifetime use of methamphetamine.

(source: Drug Facts, Office of National Drug Control Policy, http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/methamphetamine/index.html)

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, or "upper." It is manufactured by combining common household items like battery acid, lye, nail polish remover, and ephedrine. It is often manufactured in clandestine laboratories in the United States and in "super labs" in Mexico. Methamphetamine is highly addictive.

Why is methamphetamine so dangerous?

80 percent of methamphetamine users are hooked after the first try, and only 7 percent of meth addicts are able to stay clean and don't go back. In addition, the manufacture of methamphetamine is extremely dangerous because the ingredients used are highly flammable and explosive.

Just a smal sample of the chaos:

Two children have been taken from their home where officers found actively cooking meth labs as well as ingredients used to make methamphetamine. They got permission to search the home and found the labs and the ingredients, as well as two small children...(the parents) both of Bristol, VA., were arrested.

They were both charged with conspiring to make meth, possession of precursors for making meth, and two counts each of allowing a child to be present during the manufacture of methamphetamine. The children are in foster care. Drug arrests have overrun social services with so many children it's difficult to find enough homes. In a separate incident two males ages 42 and 31 were nailed for meth and precursor chemicals. All are in Bristol and Abingdon jails. Ref BHC September 17, 2011

A 26-year-old man Washington County, Va. has been jailed without bond after police say they found methamphetamine and materials to make the drug inside his hotel room. William E. Himes. was charged with manufacturing 28 grams of a substance containing meth, possession of meth manufacturing precursors and possession of methamphetamine...officers discovered meth and meth-making materials in a room at the Howard Johnson Motel on West Euclid Avenue. October 03, 2011

The police department encourages anyone with knowledge or suspicions of meth-making activities in Bristol to call them at 276.645.7400.

In Johnson City, Tennessee a Sullivan County Tennessee man is died of complication caused by so-called "bath salts." A Doctor Michael Ross claims to have seen multiple patients due to this latest toxic high. This synthetic drug is new to Tri-Cities and possession is a at present a misdemeanor.

Black Female Sets Man on Fire

The Kingsport Times-News reports police are searching Sharon Donella Phillips, 41 for attempted murder and other charges. She was arguing with the victim and caused serious burns when she threw a flammable liquid on the victim and set him alight. Read the full story at Kingsport Times-News.

Rogersville, Tennessee: A Hawkins County woman ended up in jail after telling deputies that she was robbed. Deputies say Amy Dykes told them a man stole $60 out of her hand in the Dollar General parking lot in Bulls Gap, while she was standing beside her car. The deputies didn't buy her story, but did track down the man. He told deputies that Dykes gave him the money to buy illegal prescription drugs, but he didn't give them to her, and took off with the money. Dykes admitted to the deputies that she had made up the story, and was charged with filing a false report. During the investigation, it was also found out that Dykes' license had been suspended. That led to an additional charge of driving on a suspended license. Ref. WATE.

LPN Nailed on Drug Charges

September 30, 2011 The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a licensed practical nurse after she was indicted by the Washington County Grand Jury for illegally obtaining a controlled substance.

Erin Tipton, 34, of Erwin, Tenn. was indicted earlier this month on 42 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deceit, or theft. Tipton was employed as a medical coordinator at Core Services of Northeast Tennessee in Johnson City, Tenn. when she submitted falsified prescriptions for three of the residents then kept the controlled substances when they were delivered to the facility. The offenses began occurring in 2007.

Tipton was arrested and booked into the Washington County Correctional Facility yesterday on $100,000 bond. She has since made bond and was released and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18. TBI worked the investigation on Tipton with the Johnson City Police Department.

Abingdon man arrested on meth charges, marijuana

An Abingdon Virginia man after a search of his home turned up "a large zip lock bag containing green, leafy plant material and a black back pack. Inside the pack back, officers discovered several precursor ingredients for the production of methamphetamine" and "five pages of hand written instructions detailing how to cook methamphetamine." He is jail in Abingdon. September 28, 2011