Tennessees Methamphetamine ProblemLike several other states, Tennessee is facing serious problems regarding the use, possession, sale, production, and distribution of illegal drugs and other controlled substances. One of the most prevalent illegal drugs is methamphetamine, an artificial drug created by mixing chemicals; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) states that in Tennessee, roughly 800 methamphetamine production plants are in business at any time. Further, the importation of “ice,” a very pure form of meth produced in Mexico, has been affecting East Tennessee recently.

What are the effects of using methamphetamine?

Using meth is extremely dangerous, as it leads to a wide variety of health, financial, and environmental problems for both the short term and the long term. The short-term effects of using meth can include:

  • Partial or total loss of appetite
  • Breathing problems
  • Abnormal heartbeat and heart rate
  • Enhanced blood pressure
  • Disrupted sleep cycles
  • Erratic and/or violent behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

The long-term effects of using meth may include:

  • Lifelong damage to heart and brain blood vessels
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Organ damage (specifically the liver, kidneys and lungs)
  • Malnourishment
  • Serious tooth decay
  • Brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s and epilepsy
  • Death

What are the penalties associated with methamphetamine?

Just like many other criminal offenses in Tennessee, using, possessing, making, selling, and distributing meth carries a variety of serious penalties. First-time misdemeanor offenders face up to twelve months’ worth of jail time and $2,500 worth of fines. Subsequent offenses can lead to higher punishment. When it comes to manufacture, sell, or delivery of methamphetamine, Tennessee laws are tough, and a half-gram can put you at risk of being charged with a Class B felony with a minimum of eight years in prison. Further, even amounts under half a gram can be prosecuted as Class C felonies with three to six years in prison.

Under federal law, defendants possessing more than five grams of meth face a mandatory minimum of five years of incarceration. If found guilty of conspiring to manufacture, sell, or distribute 50 grams of meth, the mandatory minimum sentence jumps to ten years. Congress has abolished parole, and under federal law you must serve at least 85% of your sentence.

If you are convicted of a meth-based offense, you may also be required to submit to:

  • Routine check-ins
  • Drug tests
  • Drug treatment
  • Therapy
  • Employment
  • Community service

If you, a friend, or a relative is in trouble with the law and facing serious drug charges in Tennessee, the Sevierville criminal defense attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC are here to help. It is our desire to restore individuals to their freedom from this devastating addiction and its consequences. We fight for justice for people throughout Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Seymour, and in the surrounding areas, who are facing drug charges. To schedule a consultation at our firm, please call (865) 428-8780 or fill out the contact form. We will visit you if you are being held in custody.