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DEA's Greatest Success?
April 8, 2009 11:29 AM   Subscribe

In May 1995, the American government's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made an attempt to disrupt the supply chain of methamphetamine precursors, such as pseudoephedrine, by shutting down two major suppliers of the precursors under authority granted by the Domestic Chemical Diversion Control Act. Was it successful? Only temporarily, according to new research by Carlos Dobkin and Nancy Nicosia. (via)
posted by Pants! (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
1995? How can "shutting down the supply chain" prevent drugs from being made when anyone could buy the precursors at the local drugstore? It was only in the past few years that people have seriously tried to restrict the retail sale of pseudoephedrine.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on April 8, 2009


Perhaps the best guarded places in America are our prisons. And inmates have some of the fewest rights of any American: they are not free to leave their prisons, their persons and domiciles can be searched at the whim of guards, they are almost continually under watch, their outside contacts are limited to people bodily searched. They typically have little access to cash or legal items of value.

And yet in almost any prison in America, inmates can secure illegal drugs and use them.

If we can't keep drugs out of prisons, what chance have we to materially limit their availability outside prisons? Yes, we can incrementally and continually make all of society more like prison: institute random drug testing at schools and for any job directly or indirectly funding with Federal dollars, we can extend the powers of the Border Patrol 100 miles inside our borders, and send our Coast Guard ships out into international waters, we can impose increasingly draconian punishments to put more and more people into our prisons, we can harass and inconvenience law-abiding citizens by making them sign and show ID for what used to be over the counter cold medicine. And all of this we do.

And for what? We can't even check the availability of drugs within our ever growing prison system. Even if we treat every citizen like a prisoner, even if we authorize more and more no-knock warrants that kill innocents and police alike, nothing we can do will come close to achieving the level of anti-drug scrutiny present in a prison -- and even that doesn't work, even in real prisons!

It's time we woke up. We woke up when we saw Prohibition caused crime and enriched criminals while at the same time killing innocents and harassing law-abiding people, and for all that cost, didn't stop determined drinkers from getting a beer.

There is no success, no possibility of success, in the "Drug War". The only possible outcome is more police, and more police corruption, when a single act of looking the other way can garner a cop more than his annual before taxes salary.

It's time to stop beating our heads against this wall. It's time to declare victory and leave.
posted by orthogonality at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2009 [28 favorites]


It was only in the past few years that people have seriously tried to restrict the retail sale of pseudoephedrine.

A fact seriously resented by my allergy challenged wife, who has bemoaned this restriction for years. And added to that, the insult that the non-working phenylephrine being introduced to replace it just adds fuel to her fire.

Treating everyone like drug producers just fosters resentment. Honestly, if I had the ability to buy it illegally in bulk, just to make my wife less miserable, I would do it in a heartbeat. The fact that I would be violating their stupid rule would just be the cherry on the top for me.
posted by quin at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


How can "shutting down the supply chain" prevent drugs from being made when anyone could buy the precursors at the local drugstore?

There was an excellent Frontline episode about the meth epidemic a few years back. I think I followed the link from here if I remember correctly (ah, here it is). Basically, there were pharmaceutical companies in India selling bulk pseudoephedrine to drug makers in Mexico and elsewhere. Getting those operations shut down made it more difficult to get large quantities.

Yes, you can buy blister packs of the stuff from the pharmacy still, but you have to swipe your ID or sign a log book. This makes "smurfing" harder.

So the great success seems to be moving meth production from large quantities made in Mexico to every methhead cooking up their own at home?
posted by kableh at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The best coverage of this topic has come from The Oregonian, whose lead authors were finalists for a Pulitzer and also featured on Frontline.
posted by twsf at 11:56 AM on April 8, 2009


A fact seriously resented by my allergy challenged wife, who has bemoaned this restriction for years. And added to that, the insult that the non-working phenylephrine being introduced to replace it just adds fuel to her fire.

I was mad about the restrictions at first, too, and just went through the hassle to get the pseudoephedrine-containing versions of medicines OTC, but I've started using cetrazine (generic Zyrtec) instead and find it works just as well, if not better. YWMMV

posted by kableh at 11:56 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where's that link from a few weeks ago about the happy rats who didn't become drug addicts?
posted by serazin at 12:07 PM on April 8, 2009


As ever, focusing on the supply side of the equation fails miserably.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 PM on April 8, 2009


but you have to swipe your ID or sign a log book.

Yeah, I ran afoul that aggravation a while back when I bought her a bunch of the little red Sudafeds instead of the 12 hour she was wanting. When I went back to buy the correct kind, I was told I was over the limit for the month.

I was nice. I was pleasant, because it wasn't the pharmacists fault. But if you could have read my mind in those few seconds, it would have been a frightening place to visit. There was fire and blood (and oddly, flying squirrels.)

but I've started using cetrazine (generic Zyrtec)

Yeah, she uses that now as well, but it just became non-prescription and easily available fairly recently, and she suffered before that.
posted by quin at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2009


I was mad about the restrictions at first, too, and just went through the hassle to get the pseudoephedrine-containing versions of medicines OTC, but I've started using cetrazine (generic Zyrtec) instead and find it works just as well, if not better.

That would work for allergies since Zyrtec is an anti-histamine. It won't help with colds though since it isn't a histamine issue; you need a decongestant like pseudoephedrine for that.
posted by Justinian at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2009


As ever, focusing on the supply side of the equation fails miserably.

Are you suggesting we focus on making people not want to obtain drugs? Or are you suggesting a far more reasonable (and workable) legalization approach?
posted by odinsdream at 12:26 PM on April 8, 2009


The best coverage of this topic has come from The Oregonian

Well, some of its most histrionic, anyway.
posted by dersins at 12:27 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, I haven't paid that much attention, but this War on Drugs seems to be going swimmingly.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:39 PM on April 8, 2009


Hey, if you think all this restriction is bad for you guys, imagine how it must be for me!

;)
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 12:39 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


1995? How can "shutting down the supply chain" prevent drugs from being made when anyone could buy the precursors at the local drugstore? It was only in the past few years that people have seriously tried to restrict the retail sale of pseudoephedrine.

If I recall correctly, 1995 was around the time I actually used pseudoephedrine (not as a precursor to something else). There was a lot of talk about new laws being passed to restrict distribution right around that time. I don't remember the exact details but there was a lot of noise about it then.
posted by splice at 12:41 PM on April 8, 2009


I was mad about the restrictions at first, too, and just went through the hassle to get the pseudoephedrine-containing versions of medicines OTC

Some lawmakers in my state recently tried to make pseudophedrine-containing medicines available by prescription only, which luckily failed. I'm sure that they'll try again, though. Anything that gives the illusion of combating illegal drugs is worth it, to some.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:50 PM on April 8, 2009


Are you suggesting we focus on making people not want to obtain drugs? Or are you suggesting a far more reasonable (and workable) legalization approach?

If you want people to stop doing something, you can't just focus on the supply side of the equation- you have to get them to stop wanting to do it. Whether it's taking drugs, listening to music you don't approve of, looking at internet pornography, or whatever, simply trying to eliminate the supply both fails and creates dysfunction.

Legalization/medicalization, as in the Netherlands, seems like the best way to handle this issue to me.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:58 PM on April 8, 2009


"Legalization/medicalization, as in the Netherlands, seems like the best way to handle this issue to me."

Except their legalization is only de facto. There is no explicit legal permission. The government could easily change course and rescind their current policies, which is what they are.

Explicit legalization is better than what the Netherlands has, though they're certainly dealing with it better than we are.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:37 PM on April 8, 2009


Talking to the cops in my practice, I hear consistently that they are called out far less for meth house issues, to their great relief and to the relief of local communities. I can't say enough about what a useless drug sudafed is, except for the few people that rely on it for periodic decongestant effects. It has so many bad side-effects that it should have never been OTC in the first place. Getting a prescription for it is not typically a big deal and I rarely even require an office visit for established patients.
posted by docpops at 2:02 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Excellent Rolling Stone article from December 2007 which includes the DEA's efforts on methamphetamine: How American Lost The War On Drugs: After Thirty-Five Years and $500 Billion, Drugs Are as Cheap and Plentiful as Ever: An Anatomy of a Failure.
posted by VulcanMike at 2:06 PM on April 8, 2009


This right here sums up what I think pretty clearly, actually. Thanks, orthogonality, I think I'll link people to that comment from now on rather than constantly repeating myself or trying to put it into words. Even if someone is hugely against drugs it's not hard to see that this just isn't working.

Endless frustration.
posted by Stunt at 2:30 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I can't say enough about what a useless drug sudafed is, except for the few people that rely on it for periodic decongestant effects. It has so many bad side-effects that it should have never been OTC in the first place. Getting a prescription for it is not typically a big deal and I rarely even require an office visit for established patients."

Well, when I get allergies or a cold, it works great for me with no noticeable side effects, and the recent substitutes don't work nearly as well. I really don't want to have to go to the doctor to get a prescription for it. Maybe it's not a big deal from the POV of a doctor, but taking off work for a doctor visit and going to the pharmacy to get relief which was always previously OTC is sort of a big deal, yes.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:32 PM on April 8, 2009


delmoi wrote: 1995? How can "shutting down the supply chain" prevent drugs from being made when anyone could buy the precursors at the local drugstore? It was only in the past few years that people have seriously tried to restrict the retail sale of pseudoephedrine.

Don't get me started on the war on sick people. The other day I wanted to buy some Sudafed and some Nyquil because a friend had a nasty cold. I couldn't. I had to get someone else to buy the Nyquil.

And for what? Meth lab busts are back to their pre-restriction levels here. Go figure.

Shutting down illegal bulk suppliers? Fine. Requiring the sale of pseudoephedrine only in blister packs or liquid form with other drugs? Fine. Making it so I can't personally buy more than a few day's supply at a time, and not even a month's worth in an entire month? That's ridiculous.

What's worse is that the restrictions don't actually solve anything. Meth is just as available as it's ever been. The only difference is the money is flowing to organized violent gangs rather than to the small time cook. As far as I can tell, the restrictions on sale have only made things worse, not better.
posted by wierdo at 2:37 PM on April 8, 2009


taking off work for a doctor visit and going to the pharmacy to get relief which was always previously OTC is sort of a big deal, yes.

Especially for the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance.
posted by dersins at 2:38 PM on April 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Something I found amusing recently: while trying to purchase something for lab we got all sorts of excuses and slowdowns and requirements for forms and rationale for what we were doing with it. It wasn't a reagent you'd associate with anything dangerous or the manufacture of drugs. At least we'd never heard of it associated with making drugs...

Iodine.

Yeah, apparently it is used in the manufacture of illegal substances and is regulated by the DEA.

The problem with this experience was that no one told us when we were purchasing it that we needed to be filling out all these forms and justifications.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:14 PM on April 8, 2009


If you want people to stop doing something, you can't just focus on the supply side of the equation- you have to get them to stop wanting to do it.

With respect, the urgent short-term requirement for US governments is to enact the sort of tried-and-tested evidence-based interventions used the world over to reduce the harms attendant to illicit drug use. It is, to this Canadian, continually mind-boggling that the US federal government continues to have a ban on federal funding for needle exchange programmes. Right now there is an explosive epidemic of HIV infection among injection drug users in DC; the clear reason is the lack of a needle exchange.
posted by docgonzo at 5:27 PM on April 8, 2009


I'm certainly not endorsing anti-drug efforts, I'm just saying that if you're committed to it, the supply side is not the important side.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:37 PM on April 8, 2009


At issue is the notion that one is "condoning" an immoral behaviour by minimizing the harm of that behaviour, which leads many people to counter those things which would most benefit society. The "it's better for the sinner" aspect is a side-effect of the overall benefit to society.

Provide safe meth venues. For the life of me, I can fathom why anyone would voluntarily take such a drug, and I say that as a guy who is open to many drugs. But if they're going to do it, let us implement it in a way that reduces crime, reduces health care costs, and increases the number of people who seek addiction counselling.

We need to quit taking a dictatorial approach, and start taking a leading approach. People generally don't want to be addicts. So let's lead them from it. We can not do that so long as we drive the problem underground.

When it comes to "moral issues," we seem to inevitably use the least effective, most expensive, most harmful ways. It is ridiculously stupid.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 PM on April 8, 2009


five fresh fish wrote: For the life of me, I can fathom why anyone would voluntarily take such a drug

Presuming you meant can't fathom, why wouldn't somebody want to take a drug that made them feel euphoric and gave them the energy to be extra productive at most tasks thanks to an increased ability to concentrate (you think that might be why they use related drugs for ADD?) they set their mind to for a while followed by remaining normally productive for days at a time without sleep?

I'm told that's how it starts out anyway. I've seen some folks go a week or two without stopping and they get fucking insane. Paranoid, jumpy, quick tempered, the works. Not pretty at all. But at first? The worst that it seems to an outside observer is that someone is abnormally energetic, and perhaps a bit scatterbrained if they're not concentrating on a specific task.

Basically they seem like my grandma does when she's recently taken a dose of her alzheimer's medicine.

If I hadn't seen the people who seriously can't handle their shit before I'd seen people who could, there's a good chance I'd have started using it. Seductive, the idea of being able to program the night away, and then the next day, followed by the next night, then the day after that. Not worth the destroyed relationships and a year or two of having a hobbled brain (presuming you ever quit) after you go wacko and decide you need to take a couple of grams a day for a few months straight, though.

Did I mention that in the mid to late 90s where I used to live you couldn't throw a rock in any given direction without hitting a meth user and having the rock bounce off them and hit one or two more? Nearly every day I'd read in the paper about how some apparently respectable folks with great jobs and a nice house had been arrested with an 8 ball after their kid told a guidance counselor that mommy and daddy didn't sleep much and often spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Obviously there's some allure there. For a lot of people, the enforcement was worse than the drug, as far as messing up their lives goes.

I'm still more pissed about the war on sick people than the former friend turned addict who threatened to kill me after I told him he couldn't come around any more unless he laid off the meth for a while.
posted by wierdo at 10:58 PM on April 8, 2009


why wouldn't somebody

Because it is clearly a drug which is exceedingly difficult to master.

Caffeine is a drug. I make productive use of it. I find it easy to master its addicting properties. I have seldom fallen "off the wagon," such that my addiction to caffeine is causing me problems with my health or my performance at work or at home.

Alcohol is a drug. I make recreative use of it. I find it easy to master its addicting properties. I have seldom fallen "off the wagon," such I am not addicted to it at all. I have never had an addiction problem with alcohol.

Pot is a drug. I make great recreative use of it, and when people start catching on that good pot is great sex, I expect we'll see some real progress toward decriminalization. I'd gladly smoke it a lot, and have to keep a close eye on how it is affecting my ability to do the things I need to do in my life. So far I'm hella productive, both at work and in renovating my home, so good.

Meth is a drug that I do not believe I can master. I haven't gone digging to find out if the media portrayal is as lying as it is for pot. My belief is that meth poses a significant challenge to most people: it is very difficult to not be addicted to meth after very little use.

It is extremely high-risk and I'm extremely at risk of going manic and bizarrely productive. I know myself. The transition seasons are hell on me: meth would be Spring compressed into a week. Bad ju-ju for the likes of me.

Given all the other drugs that are available with which to tweak one's brain and perceptions, I do not see any appeal in meth. It seems as sensible as skydiving without a parachute. It seems to me to be an obviously bad choice, so obvious that it surprises me people decide to risk it. Maybe I am naïve.

That said, better that people who care to risk themselves to an uncontrollable addiction should be able to do it safely, not in individual terms, but in terms of what is best for creating a long-term sustainable society. Minimizing their risk while providing the best possible opportunity to get out of addiction and the least likelihood of self-harm is going to save us a bundle of money, a lot of personal pain and grief. It would be a better society than the one which we have now.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:45 PM on April 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think you're presuming that most people using the drug put even a hundredth of the effort into researching it that you have.

My point is that there's incredible front end appeal if you haven't seen the aftermath of a bender gone on far too long.

That said, I've seen responsible people keep an occasional habit going without much trouble, other than wasting one of their days off from work sleeping it off for 16 hours. Few people are that responsible, however, as it is highly addictive. Most anything that provides euphoria is. (as well as many things that don't)
posted by wierdo at 12:33 AM on April 9, 2009


My belief is that meth poses a significant challenge to most people: it is very difficult to not be addicted to meth after very little use.

I'm not sure that this is true -- I've never seen any data on the ratio of people who end up dependent compared with those who ever use. But I'd be surprised if it was. It's not the case with most of the other drugs. With most drugs, the number of people who choose to use them in a compulsive manner and end up addicted is only ever a small proportion of those who ever try that drug in the first place.

Think about it: most people have lives, families, jobs, aspirations. They aren't prepared to put those things on hold while they pursue long periods of bingeing. The people who *are* prepared to put that other stuff on hold tend to have pre-existing issues that make them more susceptible to using drugs in a particular manner, to solve that pre-existing problem. Often, that means medicating some kind of emotional or physical pain. Or it might mean ADD. These are the people who, the first time they use a particular drug, say that it 'felt like coming home'.

Most people though, can either take it or leave it, or they don't find the effects outweigh the side effects. By and large, you've got to work at becoming dependent. It doesn't generally happen by accident -- regardless of how many people like to portray it that way.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:48 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


For a few moments I thought it was the Doug Enforcement Agency. Which was rather odd.
posted by geekhorde at 6:33 AM on April 9, 2009


I am glad that there is discussion about how meth differs from other intoxicants that people use. I grew up in So Cal in the 70's, I am highly experienced in what different drugs do and until my experience with meth, I would have agreed with PeterMcDermott. I still do, for the majority of recreational drugs. Meth is not like other drugs. Unless you've done it, or have people close to you who have done it, you don't have any idea of how incredibly addictive it is. I've seen people - people with families, jobs, aspirations, people who have been able to take it or leave it with every other drug they've ever encountered - get taken over by meth. Some people go fast, as fast as a couple of months. One guy went from seriously successful Wall St investment adviser (in his 40s) to a paranoid skeleton with a needle in his arm between xmas and summer. Other people, like me, took longer - 10 years of gradual diminishment, recovering from one binge and then planning the next one, two different forms of hepatitis, years of depression, slow removal from friends and family.

So while I agree with a lot of the comments about how the WOD enforcement does not work, and while I think that most recreational drugs should be legalized, whatever policies are put in place have to address not just people who might smoke too much weed on the weekend, or binge drinkers, but also people who end up addicted to meth and physically cannot stop and cannot realize they need to stop.

I always thought that once I got high and realized that I'd been lied to about drugs, I felt it was my duty to try everything. And then I grew out of it. Until I started snorting/smoking/slamming meth. And then it was just totally different.
posted by gregography at 6:04 PM on April 9, 2009


gregography: I know people who could say the same thing about, for example, cocaine or heroin. That they never had a problem with drugs before but it was totally different for them with that particular drug. Some people are just sensitive to a particular drug.

I realize that "like cocaine or heroin in terms of addictive potential" is pretty dang addictive, and amphetamines are definitely on the addictive end of the scale from smoking the occasional joint to slamming heroin in a crack house. But it isn't somehow in a class by itself when compared to other highly addictive drugs.

But as I said, "similar to other highly addictive drugs" is in no sense an endorsement.
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on April 9, 2009


gregography wrote: I've seen people - people with families, jobs, aspirations, people who have been able to take it or leave it with every other drug they've ever encountered - get taken over by meth.

Shooting up will do that to you. I think to some degree it's a danger that comes with that particular method of ingestion.

Not that I haven't seen people who have put a hole in their nose from snorting so much who had as much a problem as any person who shoots up, but it seems less common.
posted by wierdo at 7:14 PM on April 9, 2009


Obviously people's experiences and outcomes differ. I do not see that it is necessary to state this, nor that stating really contributes to the general gist of what is being said. Yes, yes, there are people who shoot meth and manage to keep their shit together just fine.

The only important consideration is whether the damage inflicted by those who don't keep their shit together is worthy of directing our efforts at reducing the harm they do upon society. I believe we will frequently find that the both the most successful methods, based on costs, results and our common morals, will prove to be those that emphasize freedom of choice combined with valuing the possession of factual knowledge before making a choice.

Want to give meth a shot? Certainly. You can do that legally. First, though, we must ensure that you are fully informed of your decision. Spend time, in proportion to results, with people who have made this choice. If you still want to do it, so be it.

I don't think we'd have nearly as much a meth problem with a legalized system like that (if it ever really was a big problem; I'm never sure it's not another case of media mythology, like the old satanistic child care center scare stories of a decade ago.)
posted by five fresh fish at 7:50 PM on April 9, 2009


Yes, yes, there are people who shoot meth and manage to keep their shit together just fine.

In my experience this is absolutely not possible. Are you saying this based on your experience or are you basing it on your belief that all drugs are controllable with enough personal fortitude?
posted by gregography at 5:03 AM on April 10, 2009


I'm saying this because I posted that meth is extremely addicting, and then people posted that they know of individuals who have used it without going straight to hell. In fact, all that was said within the past dozen messages.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2009


In my experience this is absolutely not possible. Are you saying this based on your experience or are you basing it on your belief that all drugs are controllable with enough personal fortitude?

When I was in college in Texas (late '60s, god help me), there were a great number of folks who experimented with injection of all sorts of substances, including cocaine, heroin, barbiturates, and methamphetamine. Of the roughly 35-40 folks I knew who tried it, only one, a gifted architecture student, ended up with a serious monkey on his back, ending up in a locked rehab ward in Iowa. After he cleaned up, he went back to architecture school, got his degree, and now owns a successful business designing commercial interiors in Las Vegas.

So, there's that.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on April 10, 2009


I guess if you're at the receiving end where you're catching the ones who fall, like a counselor in the locked rehab ward in Iowa, it could appear that everyone who experiments ends up there. But if you happen to have a view at the beginning, the picture may be different. It's hard to do quantitative research on this, because people are reluctant to reveal their use of illicit substances to strangers in general. The atmosphere is different in a large group of young adults and so knowledge of people's less socially desirable behavior is more widespread.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:03 AM on April 10, 2009


One other thing, and then I will shut up about it. The anecdata I presented is just that and no more valid than that of anyone else. This was a group of very smart, highly education oriented young adults, so their experience could differ radically from an equal-sized group with fewer positive life prospects. Circumstances do matter.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2009


I'm saying this because I posted that meth is extremely addicting, and then people posted that they know of individuals who have used it without going straight to hell.

In my case, I was reading your use of "shooting" as metaphorical. Casual meth users aren't going to be shooting anything; they'll be snorting or possibly smoking it. If you looked at people who shoot heroin you'd find most of them becoming addicts as well.

Injecting something is the province of hardcore addicts, so saying that people shooting drugs become addicts is almost tautological.
posted by Justinian at 9:44 AM on April 10, 2009


Honestly, if I had the ability to buy it illegally in bulk

I've just started using Meth to treat my allergies. I haven't had so much as a sniffle in months, though I could do without the bugs on my skin, the sores on my gums, and I wish those cyborgs would stop following me all the time.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:56 AM on April 10, 2009


Pollomacho wrote: I've just started using Meth to treat my allergies. I haven't had so much as a sniffle in months, though I could do without the bugs on my skin, the sores on my gums, and I wish those cyborgs would stop following me all the time.

Perhaps you should try sleeping more than once a week.
posted by wierdo at 11:51 AM on April 10, 2009


I was reading your use of "shooting" as metaphorical.

No, read it as my complete ignorance regarding the finer points of the more brutal drugs. I can't imagine wanting to it, so I haven't really paid much attention to how it is used.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:09 PM on April 10, 2009


No, read it as my complete ignorance regarding the finer points of the more brutal drugs. I can't imagine wanting to it, so I haven't really paid much attention to how it is used.

Gotcha. Well, you were correct on a literal level then: Someone who shoots up with meth is almost certainly going to become an addict. It's just that most users don't shoot up.

I think it is instructive to look at amphetamine abuse on college campuses. It is very, very widespread but the vast majority of students don't turn into meth fiends.
posted by Justinian at 1:16 PM on April 10, 2009


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