Study: Meth use rare in most of the U.S.
- 06-15-2006, 02:28 AM
Study: Meth use rare in most of the U.S.
Study: Meth use rare in most of the U.S.
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press WriterWed Jun 14, 10:25 PM ET
Methamphetamine use is rare in most of the United States, not the raging epidemic described by politicians and the news media, says a study by an advocacy group.
Meth is a dangerous drug but among the least commonly used, The Sentencing Project policy analyst Ryan King wrote in a report issued Wednesday. Rates of use have been stable since 1999, and among teenagers meth use has dropped, King said.
"The portrayal of methamphetamine in the United States as an epidemic spreading across the country has been grossly overstated," King said. The Sentencing Project is a not-for-profit group that supports alternatives to prison terms for convicted drug users and other criminals.
Overheated rhetoric, unsupported assertions and factual errors about the use of the drug — including frequent, misguided comparisons between meth and crack cocaine — lead to poor decisions about how to spend precious public dollars combating drug addiction, King said.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy did not immediately comment on the report.
The report cites statistics compiled by the government to make its case, including a 2004 survey that estimated 583,000 people used meth in the past month, or two-10ths of 1 percent of the U.S. population. Four times as many people use cocaine regularly and 30 times as many use marijuana, King said.
A separate survey of high-school students showed a 36 percent drop in meth use between 2001 and 2005.
The report acknowledged that methamphetamine is more widely used today than it was 10 years ago. Data from the jail populations of a handful of cities on the West Coast also show what King called a "highly localized" problem.
Among men arrested in Phoenix, 38.3 percent tested positive for methamphetamine. Figures for other cities are: Los Angeles, 28.7 percent; Portland, Ore., 25.4; San Diego, 36.2 percent; and San Jose, Calif., 36.9 percent.
But nationally, just 5 percent of men who had been arrested had meth in their systems. By contrast, 30 percent tested positive for cocaine and 44 percent for marijuana, the report said, citing government statistics.
Treatment programs for meth also have been portrayed inaccurately, with news reports suggesting that meth users do not respond as well to treatment as users of other drugs, King said. The Bush administration's recent methamphetamine control strategy also referred to a "common misperception that methamphetamine is so addictive that it is impossible to treat."
Programs in 15 states have had promising results, King said.
"Mischaracterizing the impact of methamphetamine by exaggerating its prevalence and consequences while downplaying its receptivity to treatment succeeds neither as a tool of prevention nor a vehicle of education," he wrote.
King called for a tempered approach to the problem, keeping the focus on local trouble spots and using federal money to beef up treatment programs.
On the Net:
The Sentencing Project: The Sentencing Project
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov
- 06-15-2006, 02:55 AM
SO WRONG!!! Not only is it NOT a misconception about the epidemic of Meth... But I have also seen first hand how strong it is raging through our country.
Meth: America's Most Dangerous Drug - Newsweek Society - MSNBC.com
FRONTLINE: the meth epidemic | PBS
Meth Epidemic Devastates Children
BBC NEWS | Americas | Rural US gripped by meth epidemic
Now alot of what is claimed and blamed on Meth is obviously false, and made up.. BUT the use, and abuse is rediculous. Its to easy to make, and make a buck off of.
AdamsThe Historic PES Legend
- 06-15-2006, 02:59 AM
Originally Posted by DAdams91982
I hate meth, but I agree with Michael Crichton's premise in his latest book "State of fear". We are living in state of fear because the goverment and media make it so. Meth has made some major rifts in our family (well, the family members absing meth did, not the meth). So I am no advocate, but it doesn't surprise me that the goverment and the media blow things waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion with just about everything you can think of.
06-15-2006, 03:23 AM
Meth for the most part is in the gay scene. Not really heard of alot of with straight people down where I'm at. Could be different with other places.
This study is kind of off IMO.
06-15-2006, 03:42 AM
I believe the some of the consequences are exaggerated... but the usage, and amount of addiction is not.Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
The Historic PES Legend
06-15-2006, 04:14 AM
Yeah... the level of addiction is insane, I'm not disagreeing there. But, it all comes down to choices again.
06-15-2006, 04:41 AM
Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
Thats the part of addiction.. Choice is completely thrown out the window. The choice to partake in the first time, is the only time you have choice.
The Historic PES Legend
06-15-2006, 05:56 AM
I disagree you don't only have one choice. People quit drugs all of the time, including nicotine based drugs which are basically one of the hardest drugs to withdrawal from on the planet!Originally Posted by DAdams91982
Even then, one decision is all that SHOULD be necessary.
06-15-2006, 06:10 AM
I've been through Ciggarette, and meth addicition. And trust me... quiting the white... is 100 Times harder to do, than nicotine. After you get hooked, your body NEEDS it to function... you dont have a choice in the matter if you want to get through to day.Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
And yes I agree... with your statement of one decision is all that SHOULD be necessary... but if you have every read the quote to error is human... you know, decisions of the right nature are not always made.
The Historic PES Legend
06-15-2006, 06:14 AM
There physical symptoms of meth abuse are so shocking..,hairloss tooth loss and skin lesions with general ambivulance of the user, That it is easy to make an example of the meth user....nothing like a good visual aide to prove a point...although there is something intriguing about staying up for 72 hours, the chemical composition of meth is close to mdma so there is a bit of euphoria involved. The quality of the chemical manufacture is very suspect it is hard to tell what your getting..and you don't want to be around when the s**t
wears off...remember what goes up must come down!
06-15-2006, 11:35 AM
Meth is an absolutely horrendous drug. I lived in tennesse when I was 18 for about 6 months and let me say I was shocked to find out just how many young and old people smoked pot. It shocked me even more so to see that meth was still the by far most popular and the most easily accessible drug there. If you haven't seen what it does to people firsthand than you really have no idea how bad the drug really is. That being said I have to admit back a few years ago I experimented with many recreational substances and meth was the least fun and made me feal the worst after coming down.
If you want to get an idea of what a meth addicts life is like, check out the movie SPUN I think is what its called. I warn you now its a depressing movie.
Edit: the movie is called SPUN with John Leguizamo and Brittany Murphy
06-15-2006, 11:50 AM
True. But the only way to be truly free is if you are free to make mistakes and make essentially the wrong decisions. Plus, the fact that you quit is evidence in and of itself that even after a person has made several wrong decisions in this regard, it's still possible to make the right one. That is, if you quit of your own volition which is how I took your meaning.Originally Posted by DAdams91982
06-15-2006, 12:01 PM
Here in AZ a meth lab is being busted seems like every other week on average. When they do the raids it can be 5-10 in a week. Or if the news is reporting a house fire I would say 25% of the time it's because of meth labs.
The images of the buckets of chems with children being taken by CPS... it's very sad.
We have laws that drugs containing psuedoephedrine need to be bought at the pharmacy with drivers license, name and address logged in a sheet. And you can't purchase more than I think 2 boxes at a time. This way if they go from city to city purchasing allergy medicines they are red flagged.
06-21-2006, 12:47 PM
The government will never stop drug use handling it the way they currently do. If they make it so difficult to manufacture methamphetamine (a nasty compund, for sure) - then people who are weak enough to give their lives over to a chemical will just find something else.
Young people need education, and truth. What about someone's personality or genetic make up makes them prone to drug addiction? Why is drug addiction so prevalent in poor, disparate communities? These are the questions and problems that need to be addressed.
The only thing we get with the current system is an increase in drug-related crimes and violence.
06-21-2006, 12:51 PM
Excellent view and post!Originally Posted by BigVrunga
"You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to BigVrunga again."
06-21-2006, 09:05 PM
That's one option. The more likely one is that production will be moved, demand will remain. It's the gopher affect, you hammer down one supplier and another pops up. You get the suppliers in one nation new ones pop up in another. As long as the demand remains the supply will be there.Originally Posted by BigVrunga
Exactly. As far as why usage rates are higher, my guess is people in those communities are more prone to apathy and lack of person control over their own actions. You also see longer lines for the lotto drawing in those neighborhoods. Everyone hopes and prays for a way out.Young people need education, and truth. What about someone's personality or genetic make up makes them prone to drug addiction? Why is drug addiction so prevalent in poor, disparate communities? These are the questions and problems that need to be addressed.
It's possible actually to have our current system and have virtually no violent drug crime through executive neglect on all levels. All we need is for cops to deprioritize enforcement of sale and possession laws to a nonissue. Keep in mind most drugs are still illegal in the Netherlands, the government has just made the decision to not enforce the laws in most instances. Commercial growing is still illegal there as an example. Other drugs are sold through those coffee shops, I had a cinnabun there with some kind of hallucinogen in it once. There's still a criminal element involved in the distribution and sale though. Mistake in my opinion, but it's a practical solution.The only thing we get with the current system is an increase in drug-related crimes and violence.
06-21-2006, 09:19 PM
Stuff wreaked havoc on my life for a spell many years ago. Once you get to a certain point, especially after sleep depravation kicks in, you really lose your mind. Literally. I do not wish the down sides of this drug on anyone.
06-22-2006, 12:30 AM
Some people are more prone to addiction than others. I used to experiment with different things. I used it many times in a row and I knew I just couldn't get addicted to it cause there wasn't anything special about it. Just like an overclocked Adderall. If tolerance for AMP's euphoria didn't go up and away, that would have been 100X more addicting to me than meth.
I have seen what it does to alot of people, so imo it is still a very dangerous substance.
06-22-2006, 09:15 AM
Meth use seems more common in the Midwest. I never saw or even heard of any meth use whatsoever in NJ for example.
In PA, the only meth I hear about is further out west in Pennsyltucky. Here in Allentown it's non-existant. I know all of ONE person who was or is a meth addict. He happens to be a former addict. Told me all about how horrible the stuff is. He used the gym to kick his habit.
Addictions seem to be best combatted by replacing them with other addictions. Of course the key is to find an adddiction that is constructive and healthy. Religion tends to work well for many, though I think working out and focus on sports or other healthy activities are the best addictions to form.
What few realise is there are a lot more people with addictive personalities out there than you would normally think. It's just that most folks find either harmless or healthy addictions. Some are addicted to work. Some addicted to hobbies. The point is, most people need SOMETHING to focus an obsession on. Something to look forward to so much they feel like they need it.
06-22-2006, 10:29 AM
I wish I would have saved the article from the Phoenix New Times, but according to the article, the majority of those so called meth labs in Phoenix crank out very small quantities of very low quality product. Basically, you've got some meth hobbiest making enough product for himself, and maybe half a dozen of his close friends.
The majority of the meth found on the streets is flooding up here from Mexico. Nobody is buying sudafed to make those 2 pound batches that were once so common when ephedrine was easy to obtain. By stopping people from getting sudafed, you're just stopping the hobbiest. It's not going to make a dent in the supply.
The house fires are a by product of freon being banned. Where once people would do their crystalization in freon, now they have gone back to using highly flamable solvents.
We have 400,000 people die in the U.S. of tobacco each year.
Another 80,000 die from alcohol.
40,000 people die from automobile accidents.
2,200 people die from cocaine.
2,000 people die from heroin.
2,000 people die from aspirin.
I wish I could find some numbers for meth, but they seem to be very well hidden.
If we are truly concerned about our health and safety, let's focus on drastically reducing tobacco and alcohol use. Some mandatory refresher courses on the rules of the road, plus more frequent testing of drivers might be helpful as well.
I always thought it was funny how many states require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, yet if automobile passengers had to wear helmets, many more injuries would be prevented.
Originally Posted by JonesersRX7
06-22-2006, 10:41 AM
Interesting stuff TT. I never figured the labs to be producing huge quantities but I had never heard Mexico supplying such large quanties of meth. Normally when you hear about the house siezures its coke or weed. But it makes sense no doubt.
06-22-2006, 10:51 AM
Here in PA, we've remedied that:Originally Posted by TINYTOAD
Motorcycle riders don't have to wear helmets in PA!
Though they are talking about repealing it now. Why? Because a stupid athlete got himself messed up in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet. Basically it is a replay of that jackoff fatass pitcher who killed himself with ephedra on a 100 degree day while not drinking any water.
06-22-2006, 10:58 AM
Raw numbers like tha tcan lie though. You always have to include the pool of users to assess the danger of any activity or behavior. For example the pool of cocaine users is significantly smaller than the pool of aspirin users, so the relatively similar number of annual deaths indicates cocaine is actually more dangerous for the individual user. I agree on the smoking though. Horrible habit. He who tries to take away my alcohol though will lose a limb.Originally Posted by TINYTOAD
06-22-2006, 11:15 AM
06-22-2006, 11:25 AM
Originally Posted by CDB
Those numbers are true in accessing how big a PROBLEM the drugs are, not how dangerous they are.
Relate it to... getting hit by lightning. It is VERY dangerous, but is it a big problem? No, because it doesnt happen often.
06-22-2006, 01:11 PM
To a degree, there are too many variables I think though. For example 400,000 from smoking is bad, but what is that in the end, something like 1/10 of 1% of the population? Plus the monetary costs of dealing with each vary. Smoking deaths incur a lot of costs up to the time of death. Aspirin likely not. Heroin a little more probably. But I see what you're saying, a lot more people die from smoking so it's a bigger problem to deal with than say people ODing on breath mints. I find it hilarious people allow themselves to get scared by false goblins when the real bagaboos get government funding and protection most of the time.Originally Posted by spatch
06-22-2006, 02:42 PM
Meth is a nasty drug. I never knew a lot of users and most of em I knew were family. Main reason why i'm anti-drug isn't being a cop it's because what i've seenit do to my family and friends. Definately clouds my perspective...Forgot where I was going with this. Oh yeah, Meth is a nasty drug
06-22-2006, 05:23 PM
Here is an interesting New Times article on the stupid legislation for making it hard to get products with pseudoephedrine.
I'm still searching for the New Times article that I mentioned in my earlier post.
phoenixnewtimes.com | News | Bad Medicine
06-22-2006, 06:19 PM
Here's something for you...
Suppose that that the drug market is saturated, and everybody that wants to be taking illegal drugs, is already taking them.
It doesn't matter to me if a drug is illegal. If I want to take it, I'm going to find a way to get it.
Cocaine is certainly more dangerous than aspirin, but perhaps everybody that wants cocaine is already using it. I've tried cocaine twice, and hated it. It's not that I didn't like the feeling, it's just that I couldn't handle having the numb nose and throat, and the massive bloody nose that I had the very next day. Every drug has its plusses and minuses. I just can't figure out how anybody continues with cocaine. I think it's self limiting. If cocaine were legal, do you really think that 100% of the population would be using it? Heck, cigarettes are legal. I tried them once in high school, they did nothing for me, except to make me feel dizzy. The smell and the taste was just too horrible to continue. I can go down to any grocery store and buy cigarettes, but I will never do that. Pot was fun when I was in my late teens, but something happened as I got older. I'd rather slam my hand in my car door than smoke pot again.
I can go on.... I have quite an extensive drug resume. Ultimately, what I've found, is that drugs are not for me. I think that many people will find the same, but unfortunately, for some, and I'm sure they are a very small percentage of the general population, illegal drugs will lead them down the path to misery and hell.
There was a studay I read, published by Consumer Reports, that indicated that ampetamines were actually less likely to cause you to go off into the deep end, than alcohol, yet alcohol is legal. I think I read somewhere that something like 10% of all the people that try alcohol, develop drinking problems to some degree. Alcohol is nasty stuff, yet I can go down to the local grocery store, and buy Everclear (95% pure ethyl alcohol). I've also heard that heroin addics find it easier to give up heroin than cigarettes. Cigarettes are legal.
It's just one big crazy political world that we live in. Sometimes, there seems like there is just no rhyme or reason to our laws for victimless crimes.
Can somebody explain to me why sex is illegal, only if you pay for it?
Originally Posted by CDB
06-22-2006, 06:45 PM
The reason why prostitution is illegal has to do with failed logic.
You see, the logic is that prostitutes are commonly exploited, and prostitution is illegal in order to prevent women from being exploited and forced to prostitute themselves.
Yet, in places where it is legal (Nevada for example) it is regulated, and thus protections exist which PREVENT exploitation. Thus, prostitution is very safe in places it is legal, and has no victims.
On the flipside, in areas it is NOT legal, there are no protections, and not only is it dangerous for women to be prostitutes, but many women are actually sold into slavery to be prostitutes. Once agin though, only in areas where prostitution is illegal.
A similar analogy can be drawn with drugs. Many illegal drugs are mostly dangerous due to impurities in the formulation. These impurities are there because they are unregulated; thus there is no way to ensure pure product. Were they legal, then they would be sold by legitimate companies and regulated for purity. Thus the safety would increase drastically. This is ESPECIALLY true of AAS, where really the absolute biggest danger is using a non-sterile product.
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