What do you think of when you think of the term, ‘drug user’? Do you think of crusty people on skid row, or perhaps wall street tycoons doing blow off of the butts of their secretaries? Whatever your vision is, it might be very different from the truth. Chances are, you are a drug user. Dr. Ingrid Walker explains further and offers some interesting insights into our biases and misconceptions on drugs.
Tag Archives | Meth
Looks like Middle America and the Middle East* has something else in common besides religious fundamentalism and misogyny: Sheesheesh.
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‘What economic crisis? Business is good,” Bijan winks as he flashes his big, gap-toothed smile.
Bijan is a cook and dealer of sheesheh – crystal meth – which has exploded on the Iranian drug market and, for the first time, overtaken heroin to become the country’s second most popular drug (opium still tops the list). Meth production in the country has been expanding at an astonishing rate. According to a 2013 study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Iranian government first reported manufacture of the drug just six years ago, when four production facilities were seized. By 2012, though, Iran was the world’s fourth highest importer of pseudoephedrine, the main precursor chemical used in the production of crystal meth. Research carried out by the Centre for Preventative Welfare shows that over half a million Tehranis between the ages of 15 and 45 have used it at least once.
The RAND Corporation has prepared a facts and figures filled report for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) entitled “What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs: 2000-2010.” Make of it what you will (RAND and ONDCP aren’t exactly the most trusted institutions), but there’s plenty of interesting and thought-provoking information. You can find a PDF with the entire report here; this excerpt is from the executive summary:
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A sense of scale is a prerequisite to thinking sensibly about illicit drug markets. For example, knowing whether a country consumes tens, hundreds, or thousands of metric tons (MTs) of a prohibited substance is critical for understanding the impact of a three-MT seizure at a border crossing. But decisionmakers need more than a sense of scale; they also need figures with enough precision to be able to determine whether the markets have become larger or smaller over time.
The Polk County, Florida Sheriffs Department arrested 13 (!!!) people suspected of being involved in a methamphetamine operation. The crew was taking their advice from a voodoo priest. Mistakes were made. Oh, Florida. Don’t ever change.
As part of Operation Hoodoo Voodoo, 44 pounds of meth — worth about $2 million — was seized when ring leader Luis Villafuerte-Rojas was arrested at a truck stop in Polk City.
The operation’s supervisor, Javier Flores, remains on the loose.
Flores and another ring leader, Ma-Conception Lopez, reportedly consulted with the Voodoo priest after investigators took $200,000 in cash in February.
“They wanted to know if it was OK to continue,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Donna Woods.. “The priest advised them everything’s OK. Just lay low for a couple of weeks. It’s not the police. It’s someone inside the organization…As a matter of fact, it was the police.”
Who would’ve thought that the entirely unexpected free international holiday would come with a big, twitchy catch?
Australian Federal Police have uncovered a scam in which a Perth couple were unknowingly used as drug mules.
Police say the couple, aged 64 and 72, travelled to Canada after being told they had won a free holiday, including seven nights’ accommodation and new luggage.
They became suspicious on their return to Perth and alerted Customs officers who found 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in each of their suitcases.
A 38-year-old Canadian man was arrested at Perth airport and has been charged with importing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.
AFP Commander David Bachi said police do not believe the couple were willingly involved.
A reminder never to take religious authorities too seriously when they admonish you to behave properly. Via the Daily Mail:
A Connecticut priest at the center of a meth drug-dealing gang has been suspended over allegations he had sex in his rectory. Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May last year after complaints were made by staff at his residence in Bridgeport.
The priest also faces charges of helping run a cross-country methamphetamine distribution ring. According to his indictment he was selling around $9,000 of meth a week at one stage.
Msgr Wallin, 61, is alleged to have bought an ‘adult entertainment store’ which investigators believe helped him launder thousands of dollars in weekly profits. Rectory staff are believed to have notified the local diocese after the priest allegedly ‘dressed as a woman and engaged in ‘sex acts.’
Only in America folks! Xeni Jardin recounts this nutty Walmart meth cooking story at BoingBoing:
Apparently, corporate profits just aren’t enough for some global megabusinesses these days: a Walmart store in South St. Louis County, Missouri was emptied by police when an “active methamphetamine production laboratory” was discovered inside.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the “lab” consisted of an empty plastic bottle and some chemicals, but still, you guys: some tweeker was cooking crystal inside a freakin’ Walmart…
UPDATE: It gets weirder. This local news report further clarifies that a woman detained for shoplifting at the Walmart “began to make meth in the loss prevention office.”
Now that is baller. You’re busted for shoplifting, placed in what amounts to a holding cell inside the store, and how do you kill time? Makin’ ice!…
[continues at BoingBoing]
Could between a quarter and half of the North Korean population be meth users? SINO-NK reports:
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Though the North Korean government would never admit to outsiders that there is a drug problem in the country, the Daily NK has filed many reports over the past several years suggesting that “bingdu” (meth) is available practically at epidemic levels inside the DPRK. Articles claim, among other things, that commodity prices rise and fall depending on the harshness of ongoing crackdowns on bingdu; that middle schoolers in Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province, were caught producing bingdu; that teenagers give it as a birthday gift to peers; and, most recently, that Kim Jong-Un had ordered a crackdown on bingdu producers, sellers, and users.
Quotes from defectors and sources who spoke to the Daily NK report that anywhere from ¼ to ½ of the population in North Korea are using the drug. And as reported by Isaac Stone Fish in Newsweek, bingdu is often taken as a replacement for medicine in the DPRK.
Missouri has once again been ranked as the nation's biggest meth-producing state based on the number of drug labs busted last year. According to Missouri Highway Patrol figures published in the Post-Dispatch, law enforcement seized 1,774 meth labs in 2009 — up 20 percent from the 1,487 confiscated in 2008. Missouri outpaced the No. 2 state — Indiana — which had 1,096 meth lab busts in 2009. Jefferson County, Missouri, led the state with 227 labs confiscated last year. The news comes as Missouri legislature considers a bill that would require pseudoephedrine — the key ingredient for meth — to be sold only as a prescription.