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Crystal meth usage rising in Germany
Photo: DPA

Crystal meth usage rising in Germany

Published: 02 Feb 2013 13:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Feb 2013 13:35 GMT+01:00

Usage of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine, also known as “crystal meth”, has gone up in Germany and it is being rapidly imported into the country, the Bild newspaper reported on Saturday.

Experience in the United States shows not only how addictive the drug is, but how much damage it can do to people – both mentally and physically, the paper said.

The drug is cheaper than others to manufacture and is being imported from the Czech Republic. It is easy to make and there are even internet videos explaining how. Increasingly the drug is also being imported from Africa, the paper said.

“Crystal is in Germany on the rise and is expanding from the southern states to the north and west,” Tom Bernhardt, a spokesman for the State Police in Saxony told the paper.

Some 40 kilos of the drug were confiscated in 2011, according to the Federal Criminal Office. The traffic is especially bad in Szony, There the number of meth users rose by 45 percent between 2011 and 2010 and increased by as much as 70 percent in some areas.

National statistics for 2012 are not yet available, but the trend is clear, the paper wrote.

“The discovered amounts and the cases involving crystal have shown a significant increase for 2012,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Office said.

The paper reported that the first numbers available for 2012 are showing a horrifying trend. In Bavaria the number of first time consumers, as documented by the police, of crystal and other hard drugs rose from 24 in 2009 to 456 in 2012.

Saxony Anhalt reported a 50 percent increase in crystal meth use last year, a police spokesman said.

But the paper noted that the high figures reflect a greater scrutiny of the drug – and when enforcement efforts are stepped up the numbers can be expected to increase.

The effects of crystal meth are similar to cocaine. It makes people euphoric, increases their confidence and sex drive and reduces hunger and thirst. People can stay up for long periods of time – 36 hours or more – and then they crash when the drug’s effect goes away, followed by insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Horror pictures of meth additcts with eroded teeth and severe pock marks on their face have been published in the United States for years.

For Dr Härtel­ Petri that just shows how bad the American healthcare system is. “In Germany you can hardly find such pictures. Whowever has bad teeth goes to the dentist and gets them fixed. Crystal addicts are visually hard to recognize in Germany,” he said.

Crystal is a synthetic drug that is crushed and snorted. It was given to soldiers in World War II and known as “tank chocolate” or “Hitler Speed” as a way to eliminate their fears. But the doses were much lower back then than what addicts take today, Petri said.

Tennis star Andre Agassi, who is married to German tennis star Steffi Graf, admitted to using the drug until 1997.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:26 February 2, 2013 by raandy
They will soon be" cranking" it up.
16:22 February 2, 2013 by pepsionice
I'd make the comment that there was meth version 1 (the WW II type), version 2 (what was used up until the last decade), and version 3 (the turbo stuff).

You probably could have gotten off version 1 and 2 with a bit of effort. It'd help you focus, stay awake for twenty hours a day, and go on even when you were tired.

Version 3? You just can't physically quit....ever. At its intensity, you could simply get a funny look from someone in the check-out line of a grocery, and suddenly feel like killing them....for no good reason. You make extremely irrational decisions, and never fear the cops, authority, the law, or rational logic.
17:08 February 2, 2013 by Vargaz
If we took the Scourges of Religion, Corruption, Mental Illnesses, Wars, Hatred, and Ignorance and added up the cumulative horrors, they would pale in comparison to the Scourge of Crystal Meth. This stuff destroys everything and everyone it touches then everything and everyone they touch. The one admirable thing about places like Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Iran is that they publicly execute traffickers of such a toxic and prolific public enemy. BANG! Hope Germany isn't as cowardly as America when it comes to eradicating the Satanic purveyors of meth or you are in for a BAD time. Check the Frontline documentary for this story.
17:52 February 2, 2013 by smart2012
pensionice, u said there are no issues in Germany???
18:47 February 2, 2013 by lwexcel
It is kind of enlightening to know that so many people, presumably from the U.S., have had such similar experiences when encountering the downsides of meth abuse. I have seen 40 year old men flip out and cry like babies, people freak out, and addicts stop at nothing to get what they want. Meth use leads to an increase in crime, and leaves families ripped apart. I think that people will start paying more attention when they start to see homes begin to catch on fire, when people pass out while cooking the drug.
19:12 February 2, 2013 by DOZ
Stupidity arises as well.
19:48 February 2, 2013 by raandy
lwexcel I have known some crank heads, but never saw one cry,or commit a crime other than snorting it up. Ya at the end of the day it is better to leave it alone but lets keep the hype out of it.
21:35 February 2, 2013 by MattyB
"For Dr Härtel­ Petri that just shows how bad the American healthcare system is. ¦quot;In Germany you can hardly find such pictures."

LMAO!!!! I find people in Germany every day who have teeth like a crystal meth user, and I'm pretty sure they're drug free. I love when otherwise intelligent Europeans believe the hype and propaganda their media pushes about Americans. We're all cowboys, love guns and religion, hate black people, and die bankrupt at the age of 40 because we lack health care!
22:02 February 2, 2013 by charlenej
@MattyB

Bwahahaha! I laughed at that doctor's statement, too. What an idiot! Has he ever seen a meth user? You can't just "get fixed". You age, you scar, it's permanent.

I imagine Germans will HATE what it does to property and property values. You can't get it out of the walls. If someone rents you place and cooks meth in it, you sometimes just have to tear it down because it's toxic after that.
22:45 February 2, 2013 by lwexcel
Oh wait a second, sorry everyone Raandy has 'known some crank heads' in his time so that makes him the overwhelming authority. Please ignore my comment and everything that I have said previously as it is all hype.
00:13 February 3, 2013 by GuidoGoth
cynicism

obviously a good war drug (...okay, and for stupid scum, who likes drugs).

/cynicism

Hm, i wonder how stupid some human beings can be to try every drug they can get. some people should rather "eat" some brain ;-).

HtH
09:12 February 3, 2013 by Wrench
Also known as Redneck Religion. It takes a true idiot to mess with this stuff. It is right up there with smoking tobacco.
10:35 February 3, 2013 by raandy
lwexcel you can tell a fool but you can't tell them much.
19:56 February 3, 2013 by lwexcel
Very true.
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