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November 21, 2006

"Is Crystal Meth the New Crack?"

The headline of this post is the title of this week's episode of the "Justice Talking" show, which features an extended debate on whether the methamphetamine problem is an "epidemic."  The show also includes interviews with recovering addicts and drug treatment staff, aas well as discussions of the impact of methamphetamine on the Navajo Nation and the gay community.  Here is the overview:

Crystal methamphetamine has been getting a lot of media and political attention in the last few years, with the Combat Meth Act signed by President Bush in March 2006 adding to the focus.  This new federal law requires cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine be put behind the pharmacy counter because those medications can be turned into meth.  States are using creative tools like building meth prisons while others are waging shock-and-awe prevention campaigns.  But is meth a national epidemic or a regional problem? Join us on this edition of Justice Talking as we look at how the justice system is responding crystal meth.

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Comments

When I hear the stories about meth addiction, I think about how we were told how addicative crack cocaine was in the 1980s. Of course, crack is a terrible drug, but it is not nearly as addictive as we were told it was. The idea that if you tried it "once" you would instantly become addicted turned out to be nonsense.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 22, 2006 8:24:16 AM

Every decade has it's media-created-and-hyped "epidemic" drug. Heroin, Cocaine, crack, Oxycontin, and now meth. Meth isn't new, it's been around since the 1930's, at least.

Gawking about the new drug epidemic that makes X (older drug) lool like aspirin sell lots of newspapers, get attention (and funds) for law enforcement, and allow legislators to pass laws that provide for longer sentences so they can say they are tough on crime and get more campaign funding from the prison industry (CCA, Wackenhut, etc.).

Meth is perfectly safe. If it were not, physicians could not prescribe it. Desoxyn has been a prescription drug for many years. Granted, taking a 5mg methamphetamine pill orally is quite different than smoking methamphetamine; but the chemical is the same in both cases. Drugs don't ruin lives. Drug laws ruin lives. And that applies just as much to whatever drug is the current "epidemic" as it does to any other substance.

Posted by: Bruce | Nov 22, 2006 10:21:22 AM

Wait, I wouldn't call meth "safe" -- even in the oral form. There's no doubt that it's addicting and has a strong effect on the central nervous system. With continued use it can have deleterious effects on a person's health. This is part of the problem with the drug war: both sides are dishonest. For instance, some say that marijuana is addictive and the #1 gateway drug (alcohol probably is #1). Other say that it's completely safe. Neither are correct. Any CNS drug has an effect. For me, the issue is whether our 30+ year war on drugs that costs billions of dollars annually actually works (I think not). Just think of all of that money, the growth of the government, and the numerous 4th ammendment cases that have yieled almost no reduction in use. So, what are we getting for our money?

Posted by: Steve | Nov 22, 2006 4:39:18 PM

I work in the hotel industry and i used to be a meth user. the drug itself is not as
addictive as the chase and the drama game
that goes along with it. my husband is a
meth user. we lost 4 years because of the
drug. now he is back on this stuff and
it bad again. the drug eats your soul and
turns u into a different person. i need
help to help him. we have a 4 year old
that used to be the most important person in th
the world to him. nomore

Posted by: donna smith | Nov 23, 2006 8:27:20 PM

Steve: Marijuana is perfectly safe. You assume the middle ground is always correct. It rarely, if ever, is. One side is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. Pot has never killed anyone. Methamphetamine, the chemical, is safe just the way a gun is safe. Used properly (which includes being able to acquire completely pure meth of a known quantity/concentration--something precluded by prohibition) meth is not inherently dangerous, unless you believe addiction in and of itself is a danger. I believe negative legal externalities are a danger, but don't confuse that with the substance itself.

Donna: Did you lose 4 years of your life due to the drug, or due to drug laws (i.e. 4 yrs in prison)? If the drug, what do you mean, and how do you measure it as 4 years?

Posted by: Bruce | Nov 26, 2006 11:08:04 AM

I need help!! My boyfriend took a ride with a guy out of town to buy Crystal Meth. Well when they arrived in Texas the guy left my boyfriend in a hotel room so he could go make the deal. When he returned to the hotel they left to go home. (At least my boyfriend thought he was going home to Gonzales,LA)My boyfriend fell asleep on the way home. He is woke up by a police officer asking him if he knew where he was. Myboyfriend answers yes Gonzales, but he wasnt. The driver had taken him to Houma,LA. WHY? (So apperently the driver had gotten into a fender bender)The police start searching the car. Then they run the dogs. The dogs didnt find anything so they search the car again where they find Crystal Meth in the drivers suitcase. So... So far the driver made the drug deal, the drugs are found in the drivers car and suitcase. And do you know that my boyfriend has been sitting in jail for almost 3years and just got sentenced to 12years. Didnt get credit for time served. There is no way this is fair!!!!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP! He has never been introuble for drugs before. The driver has a mile long record of drug charges. They did everything they could to put it all on my boyfriend. Why because he doesnt come from money and his family doesnt have connections? Help Please!

Posted by: SaM | May 22, 2007 4:20:51 AM

There are many drugs which are known for their harmful after-effects. Some of these addictive and highly abusive drugs are marijuana, cocaine, caffeine, heroin, oxycontin, meth, etc. The long-term use of these drugs causes harmful effects on mind as well as body.

Posted by: Drug Rehabs | May 13, 2008 1:46:46 AM

Stating that meth is safe is an absolutely ludicrus, evil, soulless comment. Why don't you step into my shoes and see how "safe" meth is? What it is like to live with a meth addict.. how to have one as a sister. Hmm? To stay up for days because you are afraid they are going to kill you because of their meth-induced psychosis?? That you have no where to go because the secretcy and finanicl ruin of addiction..Or maybe.. those people that are following them.. maybe they are the ones that will get you.

Meth is perfectly safe.... that is going to be my mantra.. and maybe on my husbands tombstone when he decides the cycle of addiction is too hard and decides that killing himself is the best way.

Posted by: amy | May 18, 2008 7:23:15 PM

Crystal Meth is one of the street names used for methamphetamine. It is also know as speed,meth or chalk. In its smoked form, it can be referred to as ice, crystal, crank, and glass. Methamphetamine belongs to a family of drugs called amphetamines-- powerful stimulants that speed up the central nervous system. The drug can be made easily in clandestine laboratories with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. Methamphetamine is a drug with high potential for widespread abuse.


-jomie-

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