Meth bust in Hartsville closes active lab last week

The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit made arrests at an active “meth lab” – manufacturing methamphetamine – at a home located just outside the city of Hartsville at the 500 block of Johnson Street.

Two Darlington County residents were arrested and booked into the Darlington County Detention Center shortly after 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 14th: James Bryce Futrell, 27, of 1149 Riverview Rd., Darlington has been charged with Manufacturing Schedule IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute 1st (methamphetamine); Crystal Dawn Blackburn, 29, of 150 Elvin Dr., Darlington, was also charged with Manufacturing Schedule IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute 1st (methamphetamine).

Two elderly adults have been removed from the home until all harmful materials are cleaned and removed.
According to law enforcement, this is an active criminal investigation and other charges are pending. According to the organization Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s website,

Methamphetamine, known as “meth” or “crystal meth” – is a synthetic (man-made) chemical, unlike cocaine, for instance, which comes from a plant.

Meth is commonly manufactured in illegal, hidden laboratories, mixing various forms of amphetamine (another stimulant drug) or derivatives with other chemicals to boost its potency. Common pills for cold remedies are often used as the basis for the production of the drug. The meth “cook” extracts ingredients from those pills, and to increase its strength, combines the substance with chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze.

These dangerous chemicals are potentially explosive and because the meth cooks are drug users themselves and disoriented, they are often severely burned and disfigured or killed when their preparations explode. Such accidents endanger others in nearby homes or buildings.

The illegal laboratories create a lot of toxic waste as well—the production of one pound of methamphetamine produces five pounds of waste. People exposed to this waste material can become poisoned and sick.

When ingested, meth is a dangerous and potent chemical, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. It is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage.

Highly addictive, meth burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug.

Crystal meth’s effect is highly concentrated, and many users report getting hooked (addicted) from the first time they use it; consequently, it is one of the hardest drug addictions to treat and many die in its grip.

Health effects:
When taken, meth and crystal meth create a false sense of well-being and energy, and so a person will tend to push his body faster and further than it is meant to go. Thus, drug users can experience a severe “crash” or physical and mental breakdown after the effects of the drugs wear off.

Because continued use of the drug decreases natural feelings of hunger, users can experience extreme weight loss. Negative effects can also include disturbed sleep patterns, hyperactivity, nausea, delusions of power, increased aggressiveness and irritability.

Other serious effects can include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. In some cases, use can cause convulsions that lead to death.

In the long term, meth use can cause irreversible harm: increased heart rate and blood pressure; damaged blood vessels in the brain that can cause strokes or an irregular heartbeat that can, in turn, cause cardiovascular collapse or death; and liver, kidney and lung damage.

Users may suffer brain damage, including memory loss and an increasing inability to grasp abstract thoughts. Those who recover are usually subject to memory gaps and extreme mood swings.

Author: Jana Pye

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