• Germany's news in English

Crystal meth usage rising in Germany

The Local · 2 Feb 2013, 13:35

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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 addicts with eroded teeth and severe pock marks on their face have been published in the United States for years.

Story continues below…

For Dr Härtel­ Petri that just shows how bad the American healthcare system is. “In Germany you can hardly find such pictures. Whoever 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.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

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

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


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

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.
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd