Published February 03, 2007
Some hard-core methamphetamine addicts will do anything to get high, including collecting and drinking the urine of other users.
Police in New Mexico recently discovered meth users running "urine extraction" labs, reported Minnesota's news station WCCO.
The first indication of the new trend came when deputies opened up a smelly rented storage locker where they found 50 1-gallon jugs of urine. Police told the owners to throw away the contents, which made them physically ill.
A week later, Narcotics Sgt. Becky Howell received the report on the incident.
"I said, 'Oh my gosh, this is a meth lab. This is a urine extraction lab,'" Howell told WCCO.
It's the newest way to access meth. Some users drink the meth-tainted urine to get high while others use the cooking process to filter the drug back out.
"I'm not 100 percent sure what this guy was doing," Howell said. "Five years ago, I probably would have been surprised at that. But now, knowing and understanding methamphetamine and an addict's addiction to it, it doesn't surprise me."
In December Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Chuck Noerenberg to a new meth coordinator position. Noerenberg's job is to figure out where the state stands on meth and where Minnesota has to go.
"We have the foundation in place but we still have a very serious problem in Minnesota," he said, pointing out that 80 percent of meth in the state is imported from Mexico.
While the state has made great progress in combating homegrown meth, no one in government, law enforcement or even on the streets expects the drug to go away soon.
"We still have a ways to go," Howell said.