John Tierney has a highly informative article about the meth problem right now:
Debunking the Drug War - New York Times
What do we learn from his article?
"Drug warriors point to the dangers of home-cooked meth labs, which start fires and create toxic waste. But those labs and the burn victims are a result of the drug war itself.
"Amphetamine pills were easily available, sold over the counter until the 1950's, then routinely prescribed by doctors to patients who wanted to lose weight or stay awake. It was only after the authorities cracked down in the 1970's that many people turned to home labs, criminal gangs and more dangerous ways of ingesting the drug."
Believe me, I'm no fan of the war on drugs, but just saying crystal meth was developed to fill this void of uppers is a lame attempt at equating the effects of the one time widely available over-the-counter speed pills and crystal meth. Throughout this article you get the impression that this was written by someone who hasn't talked to law enforcement officials or doctors or nurses or child welfare workers who are dealing with this and instead decided to write out of some idea of what recreational pill-popping was like 30 years ago.
What else does he have for us?
"Like addicts desperate for a high, they've declared meth the new crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they're once again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who ruin their health, their lives and their families."
Here in NYC, oxycontin isn't talked about much except as a rush limbaugh punchline. I can't think of a single time I have heard someone talk about knowing someone who used it or was addicted or really had even tried it. Down in AL, it is another thing entirely. One of my best friends from high school, who has managed to complicate his life with more than a few drugs, got tangled with oxycontin a few years back. He was in the process of trying to kick his habit when he came to my house for new year's and I had never heard of the drug so I was mildly sceptical about his assertions that it was worse than heroin or anything else he had ever tried. My scepticism waned as he listed the people he knew who had died of overdoses already and when we got the phone call that one more of his close aquantances had just overdosed and died. I think this brought the tally up to six dead in about three months time. mr. tierney can be as dismissive as he wants about tales of dangerous drugs, but some ARE more dangerous than others and you have to be special kind of dumb not to realize this.
one last little tid bit:
"And why spend three decades repeating the errors of Prohibition for a drug that was never as dangerous as alcohol in the first place?"
We learn to equate meth abuse with alcohol. Aaahhhh. Of course they are just alike. All this sudden resistance to criticising meth strikes me as odd. I have to wonder if their isn't a little pressure coming from the drug companies who make the parent otc drugs used to make meth, maybe just a little nudge to keep this source of income from being fettered. I wonder if it is just that tierney is insanely gullible ("Golly geepers, I took speed in the 70's and now they arrested some indian people in Georgia and that don't seem right.") or if he has some interest in companies producing the parent drugs?
One last sneer at his loose definitions :addiction = has used substance in last month.
WTF?! Real helpful, I guess I am addicted to cutting my fingernails and taking dumps and eating french fries. I've never really read his stuff before; now I know why.