By Kathy Jefcoats
The local chapter of Mothers Against Methamphetamine will hold its first meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in Stockbridge and the public is invited to attend.
Rex mother and grandmother Marilyn Stephens became so concerned about increased use of the homemade drug that she formed a chapter open to Henry, Clayton and other metro counties.
"If they just knew what they are up against," said Stephens. "It is just a horrible, horrible thing."
Stephens said she got an outpouring of calls and e-mails after the publication of a July article detailing the forming of the chapter.
"I got quite a few hits," she said. "I am expecting women from Woodstock and Marietta to come tonight."
The meeting will be held at Gospel Outreach Church at 134 E. Atlanta Road, Stockbridge. MAMA is a nonprofit organization designed to educate the public about drugs, be supportive to addicts or people with loved ones on drugs and to be an active part in the community to combat the use of drugs.
Stephens said a recovering addict would address the group as will a woman whose husband was just sentenced to Clayton County jail for meth use.
"She's going to talk about what it is like to live with an addict," said Stephens.
Other than that, Stephens said she wants to get a feel for what those who attend the meeting wants out of the chapter.
"We want to be a support group and have prayer for addicts and those who love them," she said.
Stephens has already worked to bring a presence into the community.
"We're going into the jails, we set up a booth at Peachtree Peddlers and at the Moonshine Festival to hand out materials," she said. "We'd like to get into the schools but haven't gotten permission yet."
MAMA has a focus on God and the power of prayer for recovery so Stephens said any presentation in the schools will have to be done without the mention of religion.
Stephens said she's lost several relatives to methamphetamine n figuratively speaking n and was appalled when she learned how the drug is made.
"I'm convinced that half the people who take it don't know what's in it," she said. "If they do know what's in it, they don't know what it does to their brains. It eats holes in your brain."
The ingredients can be easily purchased n lye, pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, peroxide, acetone, cooking fuel, engine starter, idodine and matchbooks, among others. Recipes to make it can be found on the Internet.
The process of cooking meth is dangerous and has proven deadly when labs have exploded. When police find such labs, they have to call in special teams qualified to handle hazardous materials to dismantle them.
Stephens can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . The MAMA Web site is www.mamasite.net.