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Methamphetamine still popular

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Methamphetamine still popular

In the last few years, we’ve heard about a huge problem in our country: meth labs, especially in remoteMeth kills roadsign.jpg areas in places like Missouri. Residents living in poverty with few income possibilities have turned to making meth as a way to make money, with dire consequences for the rest of the population.

Just when I thought the problem may be abating, I see a December USA Today article that the problem is still going strong in Missouri. In fact, it has been for 12 years. I did a web search for “methamphetamine” and I can’t believe how many sites with recipes for making it come up!

Meth has limited medical uses, according to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA’s webpage for the drug  is chock full of information. You can smoke, snort, or inject methamphetamine, or dissolve it in water or alcohol and drink it (although it has a bitter taste), and it produces an intense rush when taken the first three ways I mentioned.

In NIDA’S words:

Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative health consequences, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. Chronic methamphetamine abusers can also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects crawling under the skin). Transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C can [also] be consequences of methamphetamine abuse. 

Throughout the nation, almost 7,000 meth labs have been seized to date. (Equipment and dump sites are included in that figure.) Luckily, similar to their actions regarding bath salts, states are stepping in and passing legislation to restrict the sale of cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients of homemade meth. I don’t know about your state, but here in NJ you have to ask for certain cold medications because they’ve been moved to behind the counter.




Showing 3 comments
  • Larry Goldman

    Regarding the control and acquisition of Pseudoephedrine from Pharmacies: There is a Federal Law entitled “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act” (CMEA) which sets daily and monthly limits on the over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. Under this law Pharmacies are required to obtain records of all sales of these products for a period of two years. Since it is Federal law I believe that all States are required to adopt it, however I cannot say for sure that this has occurred and how effective this law has been since it’s inception. It would be interesting to see some results for the States and whether there is a direct correlation to a reduction in the illegal manufacturing of “meth”.

  • Paul in Vermont

    No surprise that remote areas find troubles with meth labs, but it is always a surprise, somehow, that rural areas don’t spot the labs sooner. Newspapers in Vermont show an increasing number of stories about drug trafficking, often without information about whether local customers are driving the trade or remoteness helps hide the labs and stash houses. Seems like a big-city problem until the tragedy of local addictions is laid bare.
    Thanks for the story!

  • Lila

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information!

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