Methamphetamine abuse is on the rise in Brazos County -- and a new form of crystal meth is hitting local streets.
"It's always been around in our area, especially in our rural communities,” said Gina Neuendorff, Prevention Coordinator of the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, or BV CASA.
The presence of crystal meth is nothing new to the Brazos Valley -- but a Crystal Meth cocktail made in Mexico is on the rise. Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk says the dangerous drug is being found in the hands of many users and dealers on the streets of Brazos County.
"We see mostly the high-grade imported drugs like Mexican Ice or Meth," said Sheriff Kirk.
Locally produced meth is one of the greatest public health risks and one of the greatest public safety threats in the state. Strict federal regulations on pseudoephedrine -- meth's key ingredient -- has affected the supply of domestic meth production.
"The Mexican imported meth is a bigger problem than the manufactured meth such as the shake-and-bake cooking process. That's the biggest problem and it's highly addictive," said Sheriff Kirk.
During a three day period, five suspects were arrested for possession of meth -- they are the latest in a spike of meth arrests.
“It doesn't just claim the people that you think are low-life or the people that are homeless or the people that have no morale or morals, I mean anybody can get addicted,” explained Neuendorff. “In fact, it’s the people you would least expect.”
As the Resource Coordinator at BV CASA, Gina Neuendorff says she's seen a 20 to 25 percent increase in people seeking treatment for the highly addictive drug.
"Usually it’s through intervention, but we've definitely seen an increase in the last five to six months and that’s a lot for us,” she added.
It is a dangerous drug with a costly consequence and often times, the effects lead to neglect, lawlessness and sometimes homelessness; which, in the long run, families and taxpayers end up paying for.
"It's an insidious drug, and often times once you get hooked, you go down very quickly," said Sheriff Kirk. "They get desperate and there is a lot of peripheral type of crimes related to that; thefts, burglaries to both homes and cars.”
"Prevention works. We know it does,” added Neuendorff. “That's why it's so important that we maintain quality prevention and treatment programs. Start early -- from the age five to seven, parents need to talk to their kids about drugs in an age appropriate manner.”
To get help, or find more information on substance abuse resources in Brazos County, click on the link below.
4001 E 29th St., Ste. 90
BRYAN, Texas 77802