Holy crap this guy is one of the worst idiots I have come across in a long time…ahem, well at least the last few days:
America has a serious drug problem, but it’s not the “meth epidemic” getting so much publicity. It’s the problem identified by William Bennett, the former national drug czar and gambler.
“Using drugs,” he wrote, “is wrong not simply because drugs create medical problems; it is wrong because drugs destroy one’s moral sense. People addicted to drugs neglect their duties.”
This problem afflicts a small minority of the people who have tried methamphetamines, but most of the law-enforcement officials and politicians who lead the war against drugs. They’re so consumed with drugs that they’ve lost sight of their duties.
Like addicts desperate for a high, they’ve declared meth the new crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they’re once again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who ruin their health, their lives and their families.
Amphetamines can certainly do harm and are a fad in some places. But there’s little evidence of a new national epidemic from patterns of drug arrests or drug use. The percentage of high school seniors using amphetamines has remained fairly constant in the past decade, and actually declined slightly the past two years.
Nor is meth diabolically addictive. If an addict is someone who has used a drug in the previous month (a commonly used, if overly broad, definition), then only 5 percent of Americans who have sampled meth would be called addicts, according to the federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Mark Kleiman debunks the idiots use of that survey:
Tierney cites the low ratio of meth addicts to lifetime meth users in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health as evidence that meth isn’t very addictive. But everyone in the field knows that the aptly named NS-DUH misses the majority of problem drug users.
For example: In 1989,the NS-DUH — then called the NHSDA — estimated that there were 500,000 people in the United States who used cocaine or crack weekly or more. But the arrestee drug testing data showed that three to four times that number of heavy cocaine users were arrested that year. A projection of the NHSDA frequency estimates suggested that total cocaine consumption in the US was about 30 metric tons a year, though it wasn’t hard to see from the level of activity in the market that the real number had to be about 10 times that large.
When you reflect that heavy illicit drug users make up about 2% of the adult population, while the nonresponse rate in the household drug surveys runs about 20%, it’s easy to see how a big chunk of the drug users might be in the group that couldn’t be found or decided not to tell the nice man from the government’s contractor about their illegal activity. (For a devastating critique of the national drug data collection effort, see this National Academy panel report.) NS-DUH is useful for some purposes, but measuring chronic serious drug abuse, as opposed to drug use, isn’t one of them.
I see first hand the devastation that meth, crack, & heroin does to someone. Their families despair and cry for help from me because their Son, Daughter, Father or Mother has gone away to be replaced by this shell of a person who will break into their house and steal from them. Who will strike out at their own flesh and blood in violence, and who most often lands in jail over and over. It’s a sad thing to watch but to then have this elitist piece of crapola print that meth is really no big deal just makes me pissed (yeah, I know…pretty easily done).
I really really hate to reference Newsweek but this story from their recent article on Meth is quite common, and this is from first hand experience from dealing with addicts on the street:
The leafy Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge is the kind of place where people come to live the American dream in million-dollar homes on one-acre lots. Eight years ago Kimberly Fields and her husband, Todd, bought a ranch house here on a wooded lot beside a small lake, and before long they were parents, with two sons, a black Labrador and a Volvo in the drive. But somewhere along the way this blond mother with a college degree and a $100,000-a-year job as a sales rep for Apria Healthcare found something that mattered more: methamphetamine. The crystalline white drug quickly seduces those who snort, smoke or inject it with a euphoric rush of confidence, hyperalertness and sexiness that lasts for hours on end. And then it starts destroying lives.
Kimberly tried drug rehab but failed, and she couldn’t care for her children, according to divorce papers filed by her husband, who moved out last year. She was arrested three times for shoplifting?most recently, police say, for allegedly stealing over-the-counter cold pills containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient used in making meth. By the time cops came banging on her door with a search warrant on June 1, Kimberly, now 37, had turned her slice of suburbia into a meth lab, prosecutors allege, with the help of a man she’d met eight months earlier in an Indiana bar, Shawn Myers, 32. (Both Fields and Myers pleaded not guilty to possessing meth with an intent to distribute, though Kimberly told police that she is addicted to the drug.) Dressed in a pink T shirt printed with the words ALL STRESSED OUT, Kimberly looked about 45 pounds thinner than when police first booked her for shoplifting two years ago. Her leg bore a knee-to-ankle scar from a chemical burn, and police found anhydrous ammonia, also used in cooking meth, buried in a converted propane tank in her backyard. As officers led Kimberly away in handcuffs, her 6-year-old son Nicholas was “only concerned that his brother had his toys and diapers,” recalls Detective Mike Barnes. Meanwhile, police evacuated 96 nearby homes, fearing the alleged meth lab might explode.
I guess idiots like Tierney believe this kind of thing is just a fluke, it has to be since Meth really isn’t that addicting.