According to to the independent, “Police chiefs have been alarmed by its rapid growth in the United States”.

According to Slate, errr,Wrong.

So the real story is “not markedly more dangerous drug very slightly more prevalent than it used to be. Panic grips America, spreads to Britain, helped by low quality journalism.”

How long till I can’t get Sudafed then?



  1. Wow, that Slate article seems really dismissive and ignorant to me. I observed abuse of meth first-hand among my peers and in my state. If it was not an epidemic, I don’t know what was. Emotional connection clouding judgment? Possibly so. Make no mistake, it’s a TERRIBLE drug with clear-cut and obvious physical effects, which are dwarfed by the extreme ruinous effect it has on families. I lost my best friend to meth (no, he’s not dead). I watched many of my classmates destroy their opportunities, get divoreced and arrested because of this awful drug. It is indeed more dangerous, at least in my small Midwest area of the U.S. than any other drug I know of. That’s so because it’s clearly more dangerous than pot (by, oh, a million times) and because it’s easy to obtain, relatively inexpensive, and — hell — you can make it in your bathroom. Or, your attic. Three blocks from my house. Cocaine, by comparison, is basically non-existant here. Same for heroin. Putting pseudoephedrine behind locked glass was, as far as I can tell, a big help at reducing “meth labs” which popped up all over the countryside. It also had the bizarre effect of making people turn to Mexican-imported crap more so than their own. Strange fact: When people mixed their own, the number of people in rehab went UP. Why? Because, the argument goes, the meth was less pure than the Mexican good stuff. So, overall, the effect was more people realizing they had a problem. Weird.

    1. ‘kay, respect to the first hand experience: I was just reacting to the sudden conincidence of the bOINGbOING story with the Slate link followed the next freaking day by the panic story in the UK press which contains very, very little substance.

      1. Hey, it’s cool. Like I said, first-hand experience but also very probably clouded to some more rational arguments about the issue. I agree, for example, that there’s not a lot of direct relation to actual deaths (not that I know of, anyway). But, saying that is sorta like saying “Well, the drinking itself doesn’t kill anyone. It’s the driving afterwards.” But, even if there aren’t any deaths, the results are pretty bad. Lots of kids in foster homes now, for example.

      2. Sure: and I’ll take your observations over either slate or the independent. i’ve also been thinking: what possible use is the independent leader? If it’s a serious issue, it needs much more heavyweight journalism than “police chief says this, we checked it only with the folks he referenced.” Because that’s the way the satanic abuse scare started last time, and nearly started again recently. I have very little problem with journalists bringing genuine issues to light that have been unfairly ignored; has the meth problem, especially in Britain, been unfairly ignored? Frankly in the UK “drugs scare” stories are frequent, generally badly researched, and often disappear after a little investigation, or are about the “car crash journalism” of celebrity drug use. As for legalisation issues, I’m all for treating recreational drugs on the same basis as the present legal varieties. Regulate and tax. But that’s another rant.

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