Thursday, July 14, 2005

OXFORD CONFIDENTIAL:

Meth Addicts Make Lousy Park Sculptures

I have a big pet peeve.

I've learned to hate Tweekers.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a tweeker is, according to the Urban Dictionary, a methamphetamine user. Tweekers are known for their extreme paranoia, flagrant dishonesty, and lack of non-tweeker friends. A tweeker will steal your stuff and then help you look for it.

Pretty good description. In my experience, in dealing with kids addicted to meth in California, they also smell rather fould due to poor hygiene (often soaking themselves in cologne or perfume in an attempt to hide it), have rotten teeth, will offer sex for anything from a ride to a cheeseburger, and are generally completely unaware of how foul they've become.

There's an extremely low recovery rate; unlike the "War on Drugs" party line of marijuana being dangerously addictive, meth is a substance designed to make crackheads look like dorm room stoners.

So what is this wondrous substance? Well, nowadays, meth is generally made from a witches brew of (see image at left) psuedoephedrine (cold medication), muratic and sulfuric acid compounds, lithium (processed from batteries), butane, iodine compounds, fertilizer, break fluid, paint thinner,and just about everything but organic substances.

Because of the toxicity of the substance, users, according to several studies, suffer what's believed to be permanent brain damage. Its manufacture leaves behind gallons of toxic waste that would make biological weapons companies envious.

This part of the country, rural Ohio and Indiana, is a meth haven. Inadequate law enforcement. Lots of poor, largely unskilled labor. A lot of bored kids looking for quick cash. And, most importantly, a lot of once valuable farmland perfect for turning into chemical waste dumps.

I met my unofficial 1,000th meth addict yesterday in Uptown Oxford. Pathetic waste of an twenty-something, sitting on a park bench, hitting on a girl, maybe 14 years old. Pale, sunken eyes, twitching feet and hands (thus the term tweeker), and incoherent in his attempts to persuade this girl to go on a date with him. Dressed in a sweat-stained wifebeater t-shirt, baggy jeans with dirty-ass boxers hanging out, and barely larger than the girl, this guy was bragging about being out and about with outstanding warrants, how the cops would never catch him, and how he wanted to be a rapper one day.

He was sitting in a park maybe 200 yards from the Oxford Police station. Absolute genius move, chief. As for being a famous rapper....hmm...bragging about not bathing and statutory rape probably won't get you past Preble County.

I walked into a bookstore, came out fifteen minutes later, and the guy's still there. Girl's gone, but now tweeker no. 2 has shown up, same outfit. As I walk back to my truck, I overhear one of the guys ask the other if he's "holding any." The other guy pulls out a brown-stained piece of plastic wrap.

Keep in mind, these guys are within view of a police station.

I start laughing as I pass these guys.

They won't last long.

People that stupid still get weeded out by natural selection. They overdose. They end up stepping in front of a bus. They get picked up by the cops and end up praying their cellmate doesn't have a thing for waifish white boys.

I've seen it before. Morro Bay. Atascadero. Back in Virginia. I once held a guy's hand for six hours while he held a meth rock over a toilet seat sobbing about wanting to kill himself rather than face sobriety. I once watched a talented guitarist end up selling a $2500 Gibson Les Paul guitar for $90 to have just enough money for a $20 hit, two packs of smokes, some junk food, and a motel room to load up in.

One recovered, one didn't. The guitarist is interred, or so I've heard, in the Old Cayucos Cemetery in California, with a headstone overlooking the ocean. He's buried next to his father. The one who recovered spent about a year in a clinic, joined the Air Force, and now has a family. Last time I talked with him, he still fights the addiction every damned day - five years later. He's, to this day, the only one I've ever known to come close to recovery.

Like I said, I have a big pet peeve. I hate tweekers.

They end up taking up filling graveyards before they even experience life.

JWJ

2 comments:

Ms. Monkeythong said...

We're seeing more and more tweekers at the downtown Dayton PL. One guy accidently walked into a gay bar down the street, realized where he was, and tried to beat up everyone in the bar. Of course the pansies kicked his sorry ass, so he ran outside and was outside the library threatening everyone on the sidewalk, and I mean everyone -- kids, grannies, everyone. Some big bodybuilder guy had to sit on him until the cops came.

I always laugh when people say, "Oh, working in a library must be a nice, quiet job."

KFigment said...

Welcome to my client base. Out here in CO tweakers are everywhere. Most of them will never make it. They get into the system and get flipped and turned out so many times the don't know what year it is. I have seen eople with cases in 3 counties and you offer them treatment and detox and they would rather run.

I can't even imagine how many people waste the money in the legal system.