Meth

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by thardey, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Hey, I got a question for those who have experience with this stuff --

    Meth use is growing around here like crazy. Like, scary crazy. Our local sheriff said recently that it's a much bigger problem than Marijuana.

    I went and visited the "Oregon Meth Watch" sites, and the PSA stuff about it, and it warns about the dangers of taking, and getting hooked on meth, but it doesn't say how to deal with people who are high on meth.

    My wife knows someone who was killed by his son, who was high, and a member of her extended family is gone for weeks at a time, completely hooked on the stuff. I've read that it's a stimulant, that it produces paranoia, and shorts out the pain receptors, so that if you're high, you don't have the usual restraints to how hard you can push yourself.

    How does one best survive an encounter with a paranoid person, who's on meth? Can you tell? Can you calm them down somehow?

    Right now, this is rapidly becoming the most likely confrontation I'll run into. What's the best way to de-escalate, and get out of the situation with my own skin, and my family's?
     
  2. Dave Leverich

    Dave Leverich Black Belt

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    Pupil size, figity, iritable, calming them down is rarely possible. I've always found that redirection is the key, but then again that was when I was the same age, of a similar crowd (aka, I was a metal-head black leather long hair).

    If one of these freaks goes postal on you, break them, this isn't a subdue time this is fighting like your life depends on it, because it very well could.

    There is a false sense of 'godlike power' that these people get along with an almost cruelity, a very bad combination thats then mixed with a urge to just 'go'.

    It does depend on 'how much' they're on it, but without being around those types I don't see how anyone would safely gauge that. I've known these people, I've seen them, and my response (should they not respond to the usual 'it's ok man, I didn't mean to say that etc etc' speech) would be very violent.
     
  3. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    pupils dilated or constricted?

    Yeah, I know what to do once it gets to this point. I'm hoping to avoid this point in the first place. That's where I'm training for shutting systems down ASAP, (Sight, Oxygen, Gross motor skills, Balance - you can't fight without those.) rather than "pain compliance" since they don't feel pain.

    Is there any kind of triggers that set them off generally? Raising your hands, stepping toward them, raising your voice? Some of the things that have been traditionally taught to "talk down" an attacker (pointing your finger, speaking with authority, acting slightly unstable, pacing) don't seem like a good idea when dealing with a paranoid person.

    I didn't know about the cruelty factor. I had hoped that appearing calm and apologetic might calm them down, but would that encourage them that you're now a "target"?
     
  4. Dave Leverich

    Dave Leverich Black Belt

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    Pupils dilated.

    http://www.iir.com/centf/guide.htm

    Some good info on that site. As far as the pain thing, I don't recall that as much as with people on dust, those ones you just avoided eye contact and stayed the hell away from.

    I'd say treat them like an aggressive, agitated, large dog, who has an attitude. Aka, very carefully. I don't think one can actually prepare for it, I know that even knowing what I know about people on that, I'd still be tense and very much unsure of what would make them go off.

    Granted, most people who are on Meth aren't nuts or psycho's, just way too damned hyper. It was originally a diet aid in the 70's (at least speed started there).

    Again, I'm not sure it's a situation you can actually prepare for. You can train yourself to be aware of the signs though, with the pupils, skin, figity etc etc. And steer clear of them before it ever gets interpersonal.
     
  5. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

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    I heard a Terry Gross interview a month or so back on Meth. I was surprised to learn that it was just another name for 'speed'. From that interview, it was reported that speed has been around since at least the 40's. It was one of the ways motorcycle gangs raised money.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12350220


    Of course, this will not help with defense against a drug crazed person.

    Sorry, can't help there.
     
  6. Jade Tigress

    Jade Tigress RAWR

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    This is very true. I lived in the northeast mountains of Tennessee for 10 years. The number of meth labs in that area is absolutely unbelievable. My sister, who is 16 years younger than I, was addicted. I didn't know. I mean, I knew she was on something, she was looked like **** and was skinny as hell. Didn't take care of her daughter...etc., my parents took care of her daughter.

    But, for all intents and purposes, you wouldn't know she was a *meth head*. The one give-away was "jawing". People on meth "jaw", it's not tooth grinding, they kind of work their jaw around in an odd circular motion, mouth open. She wasn't hostile, she wasn't violent..she was just...weird. By the time she got herself off of it I never suspected meth, and I am not oblivious to drug use. She told me about her addiction and how she ran away to get away from it. She took a trip to Oregon, with her then boyfriend, where she'd have no access to known supply. However, even though she no longer does meth, she still "jaws", and yes, I know she is truly clean.

    You never can really tell, outside the obvious person who is out of control on a substance, who is actually doing this stuff. Anyone on drugs is going to unpredictable, you really won't know what you're dealing with, you just need to prepare for the worst and avoid anyone that appears to be a danger under the influence.
     
  7. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    I encountered an alcoholic who used speed in small amounts to sober up enough for evening activities. Very subtle - looked like the person was chewing gum but when asked for a piece told others it was the last piece they had ... three days in a row.

    Meth addicts will stop at nothing to get their drug and are very manipulative. Stay away.
     
  8. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    While I understand your comments I have to give some feedback.

    I helped an officer try to restrain a person on meth. I was about 240 at the time. He was about 150 with clothes and shoes. I had him on his face on the asphalt, I had his arm pinned behind his back. I had his arm secured and in a wrist lock. He just looked over his left shoulder, with the arm that was pinned. He said "**** you" and lifted me off the ground while his wrist just snapped from the mass of my body. He continued to fight. I was able to tell the officer to call for help and rolled him over on top of me where once he saw the wide open blue sky he relaxed. The officer called for back up and leaned back in over us. The fight was back on. As the police came rolling in "HOT", I rolled into a ball and staid still. I did not want to be shot for helping an officer. The officer was able to identify me as helping him, but I staid put, just in case. (* I almost had been run over by one police car as they were pulling into theparking lot. *)

    The only way they got him to stop, and be able to retrain him was to have an officer stand on his head and grind it into the pavement. (* NOTE: before anyone thinks this was over the top, he had already bittne three cops multiple times. He had also punched and kicked many of them. They had to as well as did I, pull and peel his hands off of their firearms while in their holsters. This guys was over the top. *)

    The amount of violence needed, is not what many are capable of doing on a moments notice. Having been in places where violence was the only solution, I was theone who called the police in the first place as I saw his condition. I even advised the police officer to his condition. He got him outside where the fight broke out.

    Please, understand the LEVEL of violence that would be or is required in this case. It is not just punching them in the face. If you attack their sight, the might still fight just trying to survive. If you attack thier oxygen you had better be in a totally complete superior position so as they cannot attack back with teeth or finger gouges themselves. Balance is note really an issue here, as they do not have any to begin with, they are just there. The lack of balance though is made up with the point of contact and the un-ending strength they have.

    I know I rolled and tried to restrain and assist the officer to restrain for a couple of minutes after his wrist was broken. He still moved his fingers, and it was more but tactile contact the conscious movement.

    Good luck and I hope that no one ever has to have contact with some one like this.
     
  9. LawDog

    LawDog Master Black Belt

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    During Meth or roid rage, uses tend to act the same. I have encountered many while they were in the rage stage. There are a few mistake's that many will make while engaging someone who is in this state.
    1) Impacting, many will try to inflict damage / pain on someone who is in the rage stage. They do not feel the pain and this will not slow them down. In most cases this will cause the reverse, it will make them even more hyper.
    2) Restraining, many will try to hold a restraining technique on someone who is in a rage stage. They are to strong for the average person, instead use what is known as fluid restraining / suppression. As the suspect begins to break out of one restraining technique, let him, then flow with his direction into another restraining position.
    As you are appling a fluid restraining technique talk calmly to the suspect, tell him to relax, calm down etc. This may sound strange to a few but this verbal communication will usually work, they will start to calm down. That is unless some outside influence, like a friend or spectator, gets the suspect riled up again.
    I hope that no one has to endure any situation like this.
    :knight:
     
  10. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    Amen brother..When you actually got through one of these encounters its just plain scary..
     
  11. Dave Leverich

    Dave Leverich Black Belt

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    Great posts Lawdog and Rich.
    I hadn't realized that they would be receptive to other people talking as a method to calm them. I've seen what it can do and my response.. I'm not sure, I guess it depends on if they respond to the talking, but should it have to get physical... well I think Lawdog put it best, and Rich's illustration gives an idea of what they can be capable of.
    It seems Judo, Akido and Jujitsu would be effective, but again realizing the clawing, biting etc...

    Anyway, the amped up meth-head is not someone I want to confront.
     
  12. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Yes, I flowed from one control or lock to another. I used physics with the minimum amount of energy to maintain control even though it was always changing so there was no real control only slwing him down and or stopping him from gaining the advantage on the officer. Lawdog's comment about going with the Flow is eactly correct. The Flow is a major fundamental of the teachings of GM Remy Presas and Modern Arnis. It is good. Not unique.
     
  13. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    As a side note, that flowing from one contain/control technique to another and another and so on is an important skill to have, especially in cases such as this. I think there's a general mentality of finding "THE lock" or "THE tech" that stops the perp in their tracks or gets them to the ground and ends the tousle. We've gotten great feedback from officers who were *very* skeptical about the idea of flow but once they tried it in the field under similar circumstances were grateful for the knowledge.

    However, it is STILL a DANGEROUS (to say the least) undertaking, getting into it with someone on speed. It's not something I want to ever have to do. Props to you, Rich.
     
  14. JBrainard

    JBrainard Senior Master

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    That's common. My brother in law did meth, went clean, but still fidgets everytime he is sitting still (like when watching TV, for example).
     
  15. Bumblebee

    Bumblebee Green Belt

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    I hope she didn't take the trip to where Thardey lives.
     
  16. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not going to repeat the excellent advice above...

    However, I want to emphasize something: pain holds don't work on someone not feeling or caring about pain; logic or "niceness" doesn't work on someone locked into illogic or meanness.

    A pain compliance hold only works when the subject feels the pain, and submits or complies to avoid the pain. And, if a person has reached a real irrational state, whether chemically aided or natural, they're not going to listen to reason. A calm, controlled voice MAY sometimes calm them -- but it's not a guarantee. (It doesn't hurt to use it though...)
     
  17. Lynne

    Lynne Master of Arts

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    This is an interesting and sobering thread.

    I live in Tioga County, NY. Supposedly, Tioga County has the largest amount of meth labs in NY state. Tioga County is largely an agricultural community and much of it rural.

    Oddly enough, I haven't seen anyone who I thought was on meth though I have seen some impaired individuals and don't know the reason why. I'm sure the Sheriff's department and State Police have many tales to tell though.

    BUT...what does a meth lab smell like? Off and on, my family has smelled an odd smell. It smells like burning plastic, a little sweet with a solvent/isopropyl alcohol smell. We've been like, "Gah...what the hell is so-and-so burning? Umm...wait, what's that solvent smell?" We are wondering if the next door neighbor has a meth lab going. I hate to get the police involved if they are just burning plastic tarps or something. (I don't want to smell plastic burning but it might not be illegal.)
     
  18. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    If it were me, I would call the police and report the weird smells. If they are not doing anything illegal, there's no problem. But you do NOT want the house next door to explode. Meth labs are known to do that.
     
  19. Bumblebee

    Bumblebee Green Belt

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    Not to mention that the fumes can be harmful to those exposed to it. There's a reason why meth chefs wear masks.
     
  20. atinsley

    atinsley Yellow Belt

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