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Among the extremes methamphetamine users will go in order to make sure they will be able to get their “next” high is filtering their own urine.
Coffee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ronnie Whitworth recalled several bottles of urine found at a residence where a meth user resided. A large amount of the drug is disposed from the body through urine, and a filtering system can save some of the chemicals for reuse.
It is a method known as urine extraction and hard-core meth addicts collect their urine and even that of other users, consuming it to get the high from the drug still in it.
Meth users are from all walks of life, but often they end up in the same place. Cleanliness does not become a priority and the residences of those addicted to the drug are more often than not ridden with filth and items such as clothes, boxes, pots and pans began piling up.
Whitworth recalled an instance when a meth lab was busted at a residence with 13 microwaves lined up along a bar to help in the cooking process. At the end of the bar was a young child eating cereal. On other occasions, residences have been found with active meth labs and young children with no food.
Whitworth said one thing he has found in many meth residences has been some sort of a collection, such as coins.
Mood changes are something law enforcement look for with suspected drug users.
Whitworth recalled one of the first times he encountered a meth addict in the 1990’s. A woman had pulled up to Whitworth’s unit, saying that somebody was after her and she was afraid to drive to her house. Whitworth told the lady he would follow her to make sure that she and the young child in the back seat got home safely.
As he began to follow the woman, she began driving fast, exceeding 120 miles per hour. When they got to the residence the woman was arrested. Somewhere along the way, she thought in her mind that the law was the “bad guy” chasing her.
“I remember when I was police chief at Elba and went to a conference where a guy was talking about meth,” Whitworth said. “He said, ‘If you’ve never heard of it, you’re going to. It’s coming.’ He was right.”