Crystal Myths: Methamphetamine & Misinformation

Photo: Jlcoving (CC)

[disinfo ed.'s note: this original essay was first published by disinformation on January 16, 2002. Some links may have expired.]

War generally brings with it a civilian incendiary known as propaganda. This tool may best be described as a clever combination of fact, exaggeration, and imagination designed to stir the emotions of the masses and America’s War on Drugs is no exception to this blight.

Myth #1: Speed Kills

This slogan, borrowed from the Department of Transportation, was introduced following the 1968 “Summer of Love” in Haight-Ashbury and is perpetuated to this day. In reality, the only correlation between meth and death is the two words happen to rhyme. A closer look at the raw data from which government agencies like the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration derive their “statistics” reveals the truth.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), an office of the US Department of Health, there were 1,206 “mentions” of drug deaths attributable to amphetamines in 40 metropolitan areas in 1999. However, this figure includes individuals with chronic and acute diseases of the heart, kidneys, and liver as well as people who mixed amphetamines with other drugs (usually depressants). [1]

Clearly, one cannot objectively blame amphetamines for the death of individuals who used them hap hazardously with pre-existing conditions any more than one can blame a pin prick for causing the death of a haemophiliac. In addition, those few individuals foolish enough to mix meth with other drugs die from the accumulative effect of the depressant family of drugs, or in rare cases, from the synergistic effect of depressants mixed with stimulants. If one subtracts these cases from the total:

21 people died (representing less than 1% of total drug deaths) as the direct result of using amphetamines in 41 metro areas in 1998 and even these numbers appear suspect when one considers that there were only 43 documented speed related deaths in the entire world in the thirty year period between the end of World War II and 1975. [2]

The Merck Manual, one of the most respected medical publications in the world, reports: “Even massive doses are rarely fatal. Long-term users have reportedly injected as much as 15,000 mg. of amphetamines in 24 hours without observable acute illness.” [3]

Myth #2: Meth Is Linked to Violent Crime

Because it is a powerful stimulant which increases energy and libido along with its early association with motorcycle gangs, meth has been unfairly accused as the underlying cause in numerous rape, assault and murder cases. Even liberal poet Allen Ginsberg in his 1965 interview with the Los Angeles Free Press complained, “All the nice gentle dope fiends are getting screwed up by the real horror monster Frankenstein speed freaks.” [4] Even today sensationalist stories like the following persist:

  • Father beheads 14 year old son he believes was possessed by Satan. [5]
  • Four-year-old girl discovered beaten to death by her parents. [6]
  • Ex-National Guardsman steals tank . . . crushes cars. [7]

In each of these cases, Meth was deemed the culprit. Grisly details of the above were used by the DEA in testimony before Congress and the Attorney General of California in his re-election campaign. Anyone even remotely familiar with the effects of meth know such accusations to be ludicrous. Even the US Department of Justice was forced to admit no such link exists. The findings were reported in Meth Matters – a study of abuse of the drug in five western cities, issued by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in 1999 during a meeting of the Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force. It revealed that meth users were “significantly less likely than other drug arrestees to be charged with a violent offense.” Jack Riley, director of the NIJ’s drug-abuse monitoring efforts, said the results were not surprising. It’s a common misconception that methamphetamine is concretely linked to violent crime. I’ve never seen that before, just as it was never observable with cocaine,” Riley said. [8]

Myth #3: Meth Causes Psychosis & Schizophrenia

These two mental diseases are generally permanent, incurable and require large doses of strong medications in order to keep them under minimal control. Amphetamines do not cause these diseases. They can, however, cause the user to temporarily suffer symptoms (hallucinations, paranoia) which are associated with psychosis and schizophrenia. These are generally brought on by inducing large quantities and/or taking them for several consecutive days. Hallucinations are brought on not so much by the direct action of the drug but by sleep deprivation.

For those who still remain unconvinced as a result of this clarification, we can look to Japan for answers. They invented meth in 1919 and endured an epidemic of abuse during the post-war American Occupation the likes of which this country will hopefully never have to experience. Like most of the major combatants in World War II, the Japanese pumped amphetamines down the throats of soldiers and industrial workers. At the end of the war, huge stockpiles were found in cities all over the country. The quantity of the drug was exceeded only by the quality. Unlike the present day American meth – manufactured in clandestine labs with shortcut recipes and then laced with adulterants – the Japanese counterpart was synthesized in government facilities under the strictest quality controls. With the exception of Korean and Taiwanese free base, more commonly known as “Ice”, it is probably the most potent meth ever produced.

More importantly, the subsequent research on the drug, like their meth, was untainted by politics. A thirty-year timeframe along with huge cross sections of research on sub-populations make for ideal longitudinal studies, the consensus of which was: that in cases where permanent schizophrenia and psychoses has been attributed to addiction, it appears that the underlying ailment was either latent or had existed all along and the meth use had simply exacerbated the symptoms to a degree where it could be finally diagnosed. [9]

Myth #4: Meth Is Addictive

If speed is so addicting, where are the “addicted” recipients of over 200 million amphetamine tablets consumed by GIs in World War II? If there were any problems then it is extremely doubtful that Uncle Sam would upgrade to meth (six times stronger) and churn it out in even greater quantities in Korea and Vietnam? The only veteran-related drug concern that came out of the latter was the use of high-grade heroin – a physically addicting drug. Today, the term ‘addiction’ is a controversial catch-all that has subjective meaning and is all too frequently used in objective scientific contexts. But prior to 1994, addiction had two qualifiers: physical and psychological dependency, with the former being more the more severe of the two.

A physically dependent drug was one that provoked specific observable effects if the subject significantly decreased or stopped use of the drug . These could range all the way from flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, sweating, and high fever from cessation of heroin to shaking, delirium tremens and death from alcohol withdrawal.

Psychologically addictive drugs bore none of the severe physical aggravations, only cravings, irritability and depression. These aggravations tended to diminish with abstention.

Everyone seemed content with this dichotomy until the early nineties when central nervous system (CNS) stimulants such as meth and cocaine made a huge comeback. There was a problem though for the purveyors of drug abuse propaganda. These two drugs were not physically addicting, thus their use appeared far too harmless in their eyes. They were not ones to let facts get in the way. So it came as no surprise in 1994, when the largest science-related entity in the world, the World Health Organization, solved the problem by simply redefining the term ‘addiction’. The distinctions were simply done away with altogether!

One very simple definition of addiction is “the degree to which one can stop using a drug once regular use has been established. Consider then the case of meth use by US troops in Vietnam. More amphetamines were used – and abused – by American soldiers in Vietnam in 1965-68 than by the combined Allied and Axis combatants in World War II. Concerned by the impact of drugs on combat readiness, then President Nixon commissioned a study. Its subjects included every US Army enlistee returning home from the war in the year 1971 – some 13,760 men. Of these 1,400 were found to have tested positive (by urinalysis) for either amphetamines, barbiturates or opiates. The director of the study, Dr. Lee Robbins of Washington University, then retested them eight to twelve months later. The results revealed that 92% were drug free – a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider the political climate of that time period -one in which returning vets received little in the way of welcome or empathy. As one vet recalled, “I was actually booed by junior high school students – It was enough to drive you to drink!” Maybe so, but not enough, apparently, to use drugs.

Myth #5: “Metamphetamine Is The Most Dangerous Drug This Nation Has Ever Seen!”
~~ Gen. Barry McCafferty (ret.), Drug Czar, Clinton Administration

It is evident that meth is far from the most dangerous drug especially when compared to nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol, all of which are physically addicting, and can and do kill whether from cancer, overdose, cirrhosis, or vehicular homicide. However, it certainly must be the most embarrassing drug especially if your job is to formulate something as important – or rather impotent – as US drug policy.

Interdiction of drugs, or any other substance, can be controlled in two ways: demand and supply. Despite the Herculean efforts of the US departments of Education, Health, and Justice to change the American public’s attitude towards drugs, the demand for amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin increased throughout the Nineties. Harsh drug laws have failed miserably and are the primary reason why this country has more people per capita in prison than any other. Drug offenders account for nearly 60 percent of all federal inmates and almost a quarter of state prison populations.

We have also failed on the supply side as well. In regards to heroin and cocaine, the other members of the “Big Three” of controlled substances, our government can easily shift the blame to the third world countries that manufacture and distribute these drugs. Farmers there receive from two to eight times as much money to grow coca shrubs and opium poppies than they do from rice and beans. Little if anything is done by their respective governments because they are clandestinely “facilitating” the drug trade, which in all likelihood, represents the largest portion of the GNPs of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru as well as the Golden Triangle. Short of declaring war on half the countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America, there is little we can do in the realm or supply.

Then there’s the meth. This drug does not require the cool mountain slopes of the Andes nor the rich soils of Thailand to flourish. It can be synthesized from Phenly-2-Propylene, a common chemical which the DEA via Congress finally managed to control in 1989 then discover to their horror they merely paved the way for an alternative recipe which yields the ‘d’ isomer of the methamphetamine molecule – several times stronger than the previous form. In addition to being more potent, its synthesis is accomplished via a “cold method” with only three primary ingredients: ephedrine, red phosphorous, and iodine crystals. Once again the DEA sought to control these precursors only to find that they can be easily extracted from over-the-counter cold remedies, matchbooks, and tincture of iodine, respectively.

In regards to meth, the War on Drugs is being fought exclusively at home. With the exception of rapidly declining Mexican import, this drug is produced, distributed, and consumed “by the people and for the people” of this country. There are no Noriegas, lack of extradition agreements or other jurisdictional scapegoats. If the government cannot win this war it has only itself or its constituents to blame.

So does all this mean meth is safe to do. Absolutely not. It is a potentially dangerous psychoactive substance which, if misused in the long term can lead to heart attack, stroke and in extreme cases – death. It should be researched and respected. Long-term high-dose use has been proven to be the cause of irreversible depression in users of the now almost extinct ‘dl’ isomer of the drug. In addition, recent studies have discovered a correlation between axon/dendrite damage of nerve cells due to use of the drug and damage done to the cells of victims of Parkinson’s Disease. The drug, however, can be used safely in moderation (limited dose, non-intravenous, non-continuous) to effectively prevent fatigue, lose small amounts of weight, as well as enhance sexual pleasure. Research its effects. Consider the sources. Learn the truth.

Just Say – Know

Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”

~~ Albert Einstein, “My First Impression of the USA” (1921).

Endnotes:

[1] Table 2.14 “Percentage Distribution of Drug Mentions by Cause of Death.” Annual Medical Examiner Data. 1999. Drug Abuse Warning Network, Substance & Mental Health Services Administration. US Department of Health.

[2] Kalant, H. and Oriana J. Kalant. “Death in Amphetamine Users: Causes and Rates.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1975.

[3] “Amphetamine Dependence”, The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Section 15. Ch. 195. Drug Use and Dependence, Merck & Co. Inc.

[4] Art Kuning interview with Allen Ginsberg. Los Angeles Free Press. December 1965.

[5] Donnie R. Marshall, Acting Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration Senate Judiciary Committee. United States Senate. 28 July 1999.

[6] Dan Lungren, “Methamphetamine: The Triple-Headed Monster.” The Coastal Post. April 1998.

[7] Dan Lungren, “Methamphetamine: The Triple-Headed Monster.” The Coastal Post. April 1998.

[8] Bill Romano, “Justice Department Report Contradicts Common Perception.” San Jose Mercury News. 5 May 1999.

[9] D.S. Bell. “The Experimental Reproduction of Amphetamine Psychosis.” Archives General Psychiatry. 1973. In. Everett H. Ellinwood, George King, Ph.D., Tong H. Lee, M.D. “Chronic Amphetamine Use and Abuse.” The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation of Progress.

[The views expressed above are those of the author alone and publication does not imply any endorsement by the publisher. Caveat lector.]

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  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    Some people huff glue, gasoline etc. Its a pretty bad thing to do. I mean it can be a form of slow suicide. But maybe some people do it in moderation, or tried it as a kid and didn’t come to much harm from it. Hard to say. I never tried it or hung out with anyone who did so.

    So obviously, glue, gasoline, spray paint etc. is hard to outlaw. I think the act of huffing these things is illigal in most states if I am not mistaken.

    Alcohol, has a lot of tradition behind it. Distilling liquor and wine making are art forms.

    So is there a fun social way to smoke crank? I mean I understand that this article comes from a sentiment of libertarianism. But I mean, is the image of the toothless emaciated meth head with zits all over his/her face, just an unfair stereotype?

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Four dislikes? Sorry Tweakers.

  • Zebulon

    Hi, I clicked on the “Submit Story” link to submit a story, but I was told to contact the site “some other way.” So, I hope it’s okay if I just start posting in the comments.

    GUN BUYBACK PROGRAM FIGHTS THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, LOSES

    When the City of Seattle organized a gun buyback program, the goal was to get guns off the streets, not create an impromptu firearms flea market. Unfortunately, the $100 gift cards police offered in exchange for unused rifles and handguns was far less than the going price for firearms. Retailers and people looking for deals on cheap guns lined-up just outside of the buyback zone, outbidding police by up to $400 for used weapons in good condition. Reports the Seattle Times:

    —Dean Sabol, of Shoreline, who was turning in his grandfather’s
    shotgun and rifle, said the police were understaffed and slow, creating a
    free-for-all of buying and selling literally just a few feet away.

    “It’s worse than a gun show,” Sabol said as he stood in line.

    Police wandered the streets advising people to turn in their guns so
    the guns could be destroyed instead of selling them to gun enthusiasts
    and collectors.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020223445_gunbuybackxml.html—

    The controversial gun buyback seemed to be one of the few things that unite supporters and opponents of private firearms ownership. In an earlier report (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020087790_gunbuyback09m.html), Dave Workman – editor of gun enthusiast publication GunMag – and Ralph Fascitelli – president of gun control group Washington Cease Fire – joined in denouncing the gun buyback as “a feel-good measure that does little.”

    • Ittabena

      Zebulon,

      Seattle area? If so cool, I am your neighbor.

      If you want to become a contributor contact Matt Staggs. Email him at Matt@disinfo.com and I am pretty sure he will hook you right up. I just got my account today.

      Itta

      • Matt Staggs

        Shall do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.scarpa James Scarpa

          man whoever wrote this shit was smokin some shit i allowed meth to ruin half my fuckin life stole anything i could get my hands on 7 years sober now completely diff person know this meth is a destroyer of the body mind and soul i feel sorry if anyone believes the shit this article is spewing i have seen many a friend die from meth use

          • Simon Lindgaard

            the keyword being “I allowed”. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

  • s1nn3r

    meth is fucked up and it fucks people and their lives. there is no moderate usage. have you ever done meth? what do you think about the whole time? finding more meth! there is no question about it. get off your high horse and stop trying to justify your retardation to others. stick to pot.

    • Pete Walk

      dude I agree but being tough with a meth user doesn’t work. Some friends I had that use/used (who knows) started after years of fighting depression and Bi Polar. Someone told me once its just a way of giving up and feeling good till whatever happens.

  • Ittabena

    Good points and I can vouch for every single one of them. The thing that bothers me about Meth is what it does to your bones and to your teeth. If anyone had told me that simple fact 1) I would have never done the stuff and 2) I probably would not have been buying a full set of dentures at 50.

    As well, the origin of Meth; Hitler’s Germany – if it is true – probably would have dissuaded me as well.

    I think “Education On Drugs” would be better than the misinformation which has resulted from the War On Drugs, but then again that education would have to come from former users or people with a scientific background rather than completely inexperienced teachers and obviously biased Police officers. However that makes too much common sense for implementation in these days.

    Does anyone remember what War immediately preceded the War On Drugs? Five points if you said Viet Nam but I was referring to the War On Poverty of the Johnson Administration. I think we should bring that back as we put the legacy of the Nixon Administration to a slow and painful death.

    Indeed there is so much dirt on Nixon and his cronies that it should be enough to cause us to knock this expensive and useless behavior off right now.

    • VaudeVillain

      Not that I disagree, but there just isn’t any money to be made from the War on Poverty.

      If you think that good intentions trump profits, you need to explore your history a bit deeper. Wars are simply not fought to defend ideals or serve justice: they are fought for money. This was true when the Greeks besieged Troy (to secure a major trade route to Central Asia), it was true for the Crusades (where Christendom attempted to sack the entirety of the Middle East, and the Middle East returned the favor all over Spain), it was true for the Civil War (perhaps the First Profiteer War, where manufacturers, industrialists, bankers and merchants on both sides and throughout Europe made fortunes that endure to this day on the bloodiest and costliest war America has ever waged), it was true in Vietnam (even Kissinger said so), and so it is true for the War on Drugs, War on Terror and every other war or pseudo-war in history.

      I’d love to see your workaround for human avarice and cruelty, but I hold no hope that it will work any better than the scores which precede it.

      • Ittabena

        Believe me I take your point, however LBJ did not need a financial motivation to declare the war on poverty, he needed votes from the poor. Nixon on the other had declared the war on drugs because he rightly surmised that pot smokers would not vote for him. So in these two cases it was actually votes that were the motivator. What has happened since to the war on drugs has been mercenary to say the very least but I really think that has to do with bureaucracy more than it does the so called war monicker. The same can be said about the bureaucracy that has grown up around the Cancer Industry even though the buzzwords “War on Cancer” has never been drummed into our heads nightly.

        Today everything is money driven, war or not, it has just gotten way out of hand. It is now our only concern.

    • tardnarc

      “As well, the origin of Meth; Hitler’s Germany – if it is true – probably would have dissuaded me as well.” <— methamphetamine was first synthesized in japan in 1919

  • dtheas

    I disagree with every point in this article. I watched my brother become addicted and then have complete kidney failure at the age of 34. No history of kidney disease in our family…none…not ever..he became a pathological liar, abandoned his family for a girlfriend who shared his habit and to this day…is not the brother I knew before meth. I have seen this happen with a good friend who is now on disability from multiple heart attacks, chron’s disease and COPD(not from cigarettes!) He is in and out of the hospital constantly, has never held a job more than a few months and at the age of 58 is living with his mother who cares for him. I am not a fan of the war in drugs and believe it is a mental health issue and not a criminal one…but that does not take away the destruction of lives because of this cheap and easily made drug.

    • Pete Walk

      dude how long using meth did all this shit start happening? Very sorry to hear by the way, someone close to me has been using although trying to hide, your comment has scared the shit out of me.

      • dtheas

        he used for 3 years ,snorted or ate it…we believe it went to his weakest organ..as a friend of his dropped dead of a massive heart attack….both of them got hooked in college..just a little to stay up and study and it progressed to addiction…talk to your brother..get him help if you can….meth is the worst drug I have ever seen..worse than cocaine in any form

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Chanbonpin/1460775184 James Chanbonpin

    I had a bad trip off of meth close to 20 years ago and was at most a very rare user. I was up for 3 days and it took me basically 10 years to fully recover mentally and spiritually. All you need to do is look at the physical changes that meth does to people and you can start to guess what it does to them emotionally and to their soul. Anyone that says that meth is “ok” is either ignorant or fooling themselves. The proof is out there. If you;re around anyone that is or has been a user, they are easy to spot out for reasons that aren’t good.

    • Roger Mexico

      Yeah, I did it once and it was enough to scare me into looking funny at anyone who says they’ve even thought about using it. I was awake for six days (six days AFTER my last dose, mind you), time I mostly spent grinding my teeth, writing incoherent emails to a woman who’d declined to go out with me, and desperately wishing I could sleep. You “trip” but it’s more like the parts of your brain that can sleep eventually go “fuck this we’re out of here” and you’re left in a kind of zombie sleepwalk state where you can’t keep track of who or where you are.

      I mean, I understand why people get hooked–the initial rush is intense and I recall feeling like I was literally 100 feet tall–but it’s not something I envision anyone doing casually.

      AND DID THIS FUCKING ARTICLE JUST RECOMMEND USING IT FOR WEIGHT LOSS? No–just, no. Stay fat, for the love of God you are much better off just staying fat.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    i like how in one place it says cocaine is not addictive (when being compared to meth), but then later says it is addictive (when being distinguished from meth) which is it?

  • zombieslapper

    I hate to say any drug is evil… but meth comes close. I was never a heavy user but had friends who were and I would sometimes partake. The shit has left a permanent scar on my soul. I can’t explain it, but I have never fully recovered from it.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      I know some people who have had a problem with it. Come to think of it, I never met anyone who said they smoked meth casually and thought it was no big deal, though I have heard people say that of cocaine.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

        Same here. Although I have met people with access to Glass (the professional grade shit) who would drop a shard in their drink that seemed to have a similar relationship to the stuff as a casual cocaine user.
        But anyone I’ve known who smoked or snorted the stuff ended up hooked.

  • valisopticus23

    dispelling myths is good…but justifying its use is just sort of odd.Ive seen meth steal countless peoples souls…just look at all those before/after pictures man, they say it all

    • Simon Lindgaard

      Society steals souls, not meth. I’m a user of meth, and my soul is right here with me.. Have you considered that it is the lifestyle of meth that kills? The lack of sleep, lack of food, the judgment from people like you? Yes, prolonged and continuous use of meth will destroy you, but so will prolonged and continuous use of alcohol, junkfood, painkillers or even work. Moderation is the keyword. I get 8 hours of sleep, eat regularly and exercise, all while smoking a little meth. So please keep your narrow before/after logic to yourself. Man.

  • BuzzCoastin

    if drugs were legal
    they be used and abused less
    and CIA profits would fall precipitously
    wee can’t have that

    • mannyfurious

      Yeah, I’m in favor of legalizing all drugs, for a variety of reasons. But to say meth is “good” is pretty stupid. Still, if you want to turn yourself into a troll, by all means, I’m not going to stop you….

      • BuzzCoastin

        yeah, well, like,
        that’s juz yer opinion man

        • mannyfurious

          They’re gonna cut your dick off….

          • BuzzCoastin

            yer outa yer element manny

  • stephan390

    Lila. even though Virginia`s storry is inconceivable, yesterday I got a gorgeous Dodge since getting a check for $8764 this-past/month and-over, ten/k this past-month. it’s definitly the nicest work Ive had. I started this 7-months ago and almost immediately began to bring home at least $86, per hour. I went to this site, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

    I’ve never understood meth usage. So it makes you feel good and then you turn into a Golem like creature. Bonus: picking imaginary bugs out of your actual skin. Contrast this with pot smoking, where you toke up, giggle a lot, and enjoy eating to many cookies.

    I hear it can make you good at sex. Probably explains it.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      A friend told me he was on Ritalin, first, by prescription, as a child. He said he met a lot of tweakers like that. But as far as why he smoked Meth, he said he had a lot of stuff in his life he didn’t want to think about. I had asked him something like “why would you want to be self destructive?” So basically he said it was to deal with pain in his life.

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

        That’s incredibly sad. I’m sorry your friend was in that much pain. My apologies if I was flippant above.

  • Oz

    This is the most irresponsible, ill-researched and witless article I have ever read on Disinfo. I am extremely disappointed.

    • Paul Walker

      I dunno Oz they are the professionals. Given me peace of mind.

  • echar

    I personally know a guy that was stabbed 13 times by a tweaker who had been up for over two days. So called myth number two needs more research, or maybe meth in general needs more research. I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is some dangerously nasty stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stan.williams.3781 Stan Williams

    Oh yeah man, it’s totally cool to do bathtub speed, stay up for days on end and peel your face off….NOT! TOTALLY DISAGREE!!!!. If the tweaker that wrote this 10 yrs ago is still alive, remotely sentient and not some sort of psycho/sociopath, I wonder if they still feel this way, given what this “drug” has done to our country and the world. For those who’ve never suffered a tweaker firsthand, watch “The Salton Sea” w/ Vince D’Onofrio and Val Kilmer for a good fictional but not even sensationalized glimpse into the “lives” of these people. “Spun” w/ Debby Harry is another…..and, on the other hand, if the person who wrote isn’t a tweaker and has never seen firsthand the extended damage this abuse causes, they are hardly qualified to comment, imho.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.seth.56 Greg Seth

    This article is now 11 years o;d and is SEVERELY outdated. Regarding addiction and psychosis, this article is absolutely wrong. Much more research and general knowledge regarding how the brain works has been discovered in the last decade. This article is a dinosaur and needs to be rewritten.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.seth.56 Greg Seth

    It’s from 2002. We’ve learned more about addiction, how the brain works, and drugs effects on the brain in the last 5 years than we have in the last FIFTY. Old article is old.

  • VollyTuring

    Seems to me the problem with this article (other than it being outdated) is clearly that meth and speed are being used interchangably, right? Meth may be a kind of amphetamine – but is clearly not specifically what’s being referred to in most of the quotations/stats above. As I understand it meth and regular speed are two very different beasts. Yikes. In certain situations I’m all for confusing people but this seems an odd one to choose(!) – but why republish now?

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    Thanks, Haywire.

  • boooooom

    Who ever wrote this has their head up their ass!

    • tardnarc

      don’t be so hard on yourself

  • Ittabena

    Thanks for the correction but where did you hear or learn that? Not disputing, just curious.