In the last few years, meth undoubtedly has replaced PCP and marijuana before it as the new drug that supposedly turns users into demons who are prone to cause unspeakable harm if provoked. According to all the hype, meth users are scary and unpredictable creatures, like startled deer with antlers made of rusty knives and hooves soaked in batter acid. In a program about meth called "MPD Cops" that recently aired on the Metro Cable Network, the Minneapolis Police Department detailed what to do when approaching a "tweaker." Is it a cautionary tale or a repeat of Reefer Madness?
"Safety Tips When Approaching a Tweaker"
1. Keep your distance--seven to 10 feet away and call police.
2. DO NOT shine bright lights at him/her. They are already paranoid and if blinded they are likely to run or become violent.
3. Slow your speach [sic] and lower the pitch of your voice. Tweakers hear sounds at a fast pace and high pitch.
4. Slow your movements. Decreases chance that tweaker will misinterpret your physical actions.
5. Keep your hands visible. Since the tweaker is already paranoid, if they cannot see your hands they might feel threatened and become violent.
6. Keep the tweaker talking. They can be extremely dangerous when silent. This often means their paranoid thoughts have taken over reality and anyone on the scene can become part of their delusion.
While these tips sound like what to do when approaching a 300-pound rabid raccoon, a 1999 study by the National Institute of Justice found that meth users were significantly less likely to be charged with violent crimes than other drug arrestees. Only 16 percent of meth users studied were arrested for violent behavior. Alcohol use, however, played a role in at least 30 percent of violent crimes in 2002.