A Carson City mother desperate for ways to help her 18-year-old son get off of drugs attended a meeting Tuesday aimed at teaching parents about methamphetamine abuse.
"It's hard for a parent to sit back and watch their child go through this," she said tearfully. "It's a horrible, horrible situation. It's running rampant in our community."
Her comments came following an eight-minute video that showed children being removed from meth labs in Colorado.
Rory Planeta of the Tri-Net Drug Taskforce was the speaker at the first of a three seminars titled "Get the Facts About Methamphetamine" being held in school libraries through Monday.
About 25 attendees were told of the signs of meth use and how local businesses sell items commonly used to smoke it, the risks associated with it and what recovery resources are available.
Planeta included a series of mug shots taken in Oregon of meth users and how their appearance changed after use. One photograph showing a pretty blonde woman become unrecognizable prompted a viewer to whisper, "Oh, Jesus!"
"She said she can't look at herself anymore," he said of the photo's subject. "She can't stand what she's done to herself. It takes over lives."
After a half-hour presentation, the floor was opened up for questions.
"Is there any way to mix it with a cigarette?" one man asked.
Planeta said if someone is mixing drugs with a cigarette, its not likely meth.
"Meth users today either smoke it or inject it," he explained.
A landlord asked what he could do to recognize meth use or manufacturing in his rentals.
"People that cook meth tend to bring their own garbage to the dump," he said.
Or they could dump their chemicals in the yard.
Other signs, he said, are "dead vegetation, windows shades always drawn. If you smell funny odors, like chemical odors or a strong cat-urine smell."
One woman who had brought her daughter revealed to the group she was a recovering addict.
"My mom and dad never knew, or didn't want to know," she said.
Then, speaking directly to the mother worried about her son, she offered advice.
"Stay as proactive as you can in his life. Take him kicking and screaming." she said firmly. "The coroner had to take one of my children from me, and I didn't get clean for another 10 months."
Asking to not be identified, the woman whose son is using said she felt like the meeting helped her realize what she had to do.
"I have to intervene in someway, or he can end up dead," she said, her eyes tinged with tears. "It just destroys lives. It's an evil drug."
n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.
If you go
What: "Get the Facts About Methamphetamine" meetings
When & Where:
• 6-7 p.m. Thursday at Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road
• 6-7 p.m. Monday at Eagle Valley Middle School, 4151 E. Fifth St.
Meetings will be in the school libraries. A translator will be in attendance.