The Lubbock Federal Justice Department says they are swamped with more meth cases than any other kind of drug case on the South Plains. U.S. Assistant Attorney Tanya Pierce says it's an epidemic that is growing fast on the South Plains.
Pierce says the new city ordinance may help retailers establish watch programs in Lubbock. But it is still not going to fix the meth problem. "Does that mean they can go to Slaton, Tahoka or other small towns that do not have this ordinance in place? You bet. They're always going to find a way and it's up to us to work together and try to keep up," said Pierce.
There's another side to meth than just the illegal use of it. What you haven't seen is what meth can do to a person once they start using.
These jailhouse photos are from the state of Oregon where authorities say meth is a big problem. The pictures will show how the drug methamphetamine can ravage your looks in just a few short months. "Do you think the Lubbock area is suffering from an epidemic of this drug?" asked NewsChannel 11. "I do and I think it's getting worse," said Daniele Crabtree, counselor for the Southwest Institute of Addictive Diseases at the Health Sciences Center.
|A Closer Look at Meth|
These are the faces of meth. "I've seen it on people who've been on it for a long time. There's an aging affect that goes along with it, their teeth don't look healthy there are some serious physical symptoms of use," said George Bitar, also a counselor.
They say meth turns normal people, into a completely different looking person.
"What's the youngest you've seen?" we asked. "16-years-old," said Crabtree.
According to reports from The Oregonian, meth use among teens is rising. "Like here, it's not so much about meth. It's more like drugs and alcohol," said Dacey Dunlap, senior at Lubbock-Cooper High School.
Seniors there say they know little about the dangers of meth. NewsChannel 11 showed three seniors for the first time how the drug can eat at your face.
"Seeing these pictures what does that make you think about using drugs?" we asked. "Not to use them," the seniors said.
Lubbock County has on record before and after pictures of those taken over by the powerful drug. DPS Narcotics reported 70% of the drug investigations involved meth.
"There's a significant number that come through here that have struggled with meth. And even if they have been off for two or three yeas while in prison, it's still a daily struggle for them," said Bitar.
Meth causes severe damage to your brain too. Studies show meth causes hallucinations, paranoia, inability to sleep and aggressiveness. Experts say watch out for these symptoms on someone you may suspect is using meth and get them help.