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Drugs in the sewage Cheap and dangerous to life: crystal meth from the Czech Republic

According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, there were 11,335 drug offenses with crystal meth across Germany in 2017. This means that the number is increasing, compared with 11,071 crimes in the previous year.
Katja M. (name changed by the editors) from Dresden is just one of many mothers who struggle with the drug in Central Germany. The 35-year-old has been addicted for eight years, and for a long time crystal meth dominated her everyday life and that of her children.

Katja M.'s little daughter doesn't know that her mother takes drugs. But she has been feeling the effects for years. The daughter had to be independent from an early age, making decisions for her mother. If Katja M. fails to take the jump, her children are at stake for her because the youth welfare office would take them away from her. The Dresden "Mama think about me" project aims to help Katja M. to get away from the crystal, which is smuggled into Germany in large quantities from the Czech Republic.

There were 1,693 inpatient treatments in Saxony in 2015, for comparison: 770 patients according to the State Statistical Office in Thuringia. It is not surprising that the number is so high, especially in the border area, because there is the highest crime rate.

Drug is coming across the border en masse

Crystal meth is produced on a large scale in Czech drug kitchens and then smuggled across the border. In 2018, a study on drug residues in wastewater proved that the border area is a focus. 70 cities in Europe took part voluntarily. The result: The highest levels of crystal meth residues can be found in Erfurt, Chemnitz and Dresden. In Erfurt they are 211.3 mg per 1,000 people per day. With this, Thuringia's capital has overtaken Chemnitz. In 2017, the Saxon city near the Czech border was still in first place.

Drug is smuggled into the body

A drug dealer told the MDR about the drug smugglers' practices. Due to the many controls in the border region to the Czech Republic, the powder is introduced into the body, making it harder for the investigators to find. But the experienced officers also know these tricks.

I need a bag for the surprise eggs. The meaning and purpose is that I am a woman and then pack what I have bought in here and carry it with me inside. I leave it in me until I get to the destination address.

Susanne Dealerin from Leipzig

On the Czech side, the police are particularly keen on the so-called Asia markets, because there the crystal is sold, which is produced in drug laboratories along the border. Despite the controls, large amounts of the drug reach Germany every day without being noticed.

Drugs destroy lives

Once on the market, they destroy lives like that of Katja M. She is working with a psychologist from the Dresden University Hospital to get away from drugs. There are currently around ten women in the project. Many like Katja M. do it for the sake of their children. Again and again she has to go to therapy sessions and drug tests. A nurse remains standing in the toilet, the women should not be given the opportunity to cheat. Learning anew every day and exercising responsibility, that sounds easier than it is. But Katja M. wants to fight for her children, because the cheap drug crystal meth could cost her dearly if she lost her children forever.

MDR current | 01/19/2019 | 6:00 p.m.