The link at the bottom of this post is to an overly depressing NY Times article from today about the effects of the rise in meth use and production on the social welfare systems of the areas that it has hit hardest in the US: the Western states and rural areas in particular. It focuses especially on what is happening to the poor kids whose parents are meth addicts/producers.
The National Association of Counties a week or two ago released a report saying that meth is number one drug problem across the nation right now, asking the Federal Government for increased funding across the board in order to combat it. A number of states are considering bans or have already put into place bans on over-the-counter sale of the common cold medicines from which meth can by synthesised (along with other ingredients).
The Bush Administration, however, maintains that the number one drug problem facing the country continues to be marijuana.
(Go read the article and tell me if that makes any sense.)
I’m posting this mostly because it’s such a soft story. It doesn’t ask any hard question, especially the one that was on my mind the whole time I was reading it: why? Not why are the welfare systems being overwhelmed but why are these parents turning to meth use/production? Certainly the current problem needs to be dealt with and these kids need to be provided with care. But the overall problem also has to be tackled and only by understanding why people are turning to meth can progress be made.
I’m very tempted to blame it on a number of things like the state of the economy, poor education generally in the US (not to mention what it’s likely like in rural areas), a sense of being trapped in a horrible situation with no real way out, an easy way to make some extra money….
I could continue, but I won’t.
Just food for thought.