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METH Users are prone to violent actions

April 27, 2003 - HILLSBORO – Lt. Chuck Middleton, of the Highland County Sheriffís Office has probably seen more illegal methamphetamine production than anyone else in the county.

"Iíve seen a lot of drugs come and a lot of drugs go, but this is the one that I wish I had never seen and had never been invented. It scares me that much," said Middleton.

So far, the Highland County Sheriffís Office has investigated 36 labs since the first lab was discovered in October 2000.

"It seems to be getting more and more dangerous," Middleton said. "When this started, it was pretty mild; but now it seems like every time we are dealing with someone involved with meth, we are dealing with someone who has weapons. Itís getting more and more violent when combined with the mental and physical deterioration of these people.

"They are paranoid to the point where they think everyone is watching them. Iíve never seen anything like it. Iíve dealt with people who are on meth and are coming off of meth and you canít believe it. Iíve seen a girl pull on her tongue until she made it bleed and blood was running down her chin; and she didnít even realize it. When I mentioned it to her, she stopped and started pulling on her ears. Iíve seen users pick at their skin until it is just a bloody sore, I donít understand it. Their nerves are just on end."

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