Methamphetamine Abuse in Butte County

Jan 6, 2012 8:55 PM

"It's a concern of ours when we start seeing these extreme reactions." That's when Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force Commander Jeff Smith says, they make it a top priority to cut down on methamphetamine abuse before it gets out of hand. And specifically, abuse of what he calls 'bad meth'. "These drugs are mixed with unknown chemicals a lot of times.. So there could be a bad reaction to those chemicals."

Which was the situation Thursday afternoon. 36-year-old Paul Rose of Chico, was parked in his Mazda Miata, behind the South Side Mini Market on the corner or Meyers Street and Wyandotte Avenue in Oroville. A Butte County Sheriff's Deputy spotted the car, which he says looked suspicious, and when he approached the vehicle. Rose started backing up toward him, then put the car into drive and sped off, south on Meyers Street.

After quite a chase through south Oroville, including driving southbound on Lincoln in the northbound lanes, driving through a fence, and fleeing on foot through a field south of the cemetery on Monte Vista Avenue, deputies finally caught up to Rose and arrested him. All to find out Rose had been under the influence of a controlled substance, the second case that day. "Meth specifically creates all kinds of problems... Behavior that's just way outside of the norm. Dangerous behavior," Smith says.

And although Smith says methamphetamine abuse isn't on the rise in Butte County, it's the bad meth or what the drug is mixed with, that can cause medical problems beyond those normally associated with narcotics use. Smith says, "These are dangerous drugs.. So people take them and they really don't know how they're going to react."

Most of us can agree meth itself is already really bad, but authorities think some of the doses out there right now are beyond the normal toxins. Ether, paint thinner, Epson salt, and Freeon are some of the ingredients, authorities say, are currently being mixed to make up this 'bad meth'.


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