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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 06:08 AM

AP IMPACT: Meth fills hospitals with burn patients

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A crude new method of making methamphetamine poses a risk even to Americans who never get anywhere near the drug: It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment - a burden so costly that it's contributing to the closure of some burn units.

So-called shake-and-bake meth is produced by combining raw, unstable ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle. But if the person mixing the noxious brew makes the slightest error, such as removing the cap too soon or accidentally perforating the plastic, the concoction can explode, searing flesh and causing permanent disfigurement, blindness or even death.

An Associated Press survey of key hospitals in the nation's most active meth states showed that up to a third of patients in some burn units were hurt while making meth, and most were uninsured. The average treatment costs $6,000 per day. And the average meth patient's hospital stay costs $130,000 - 60 percent more than other burn patients, according to a study by doctors at a burn center in Kalamazoo, Mich.

The influx of patients is overwhelming hospitals and becoming a major factor in the closure of some burn wards. At least seven burn units across the nation have shut down over the past six years, partly due to consolidation but also because of the cost of treating uninsured patients, many of whom are connected to methamphetamine.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_METH_SEVERE_BURNS?SITE=WDUN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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Reply AP IMPACT: Meth fills hospitals with burn patients (Original post)
dipsydoodle Jan 2012 OP
girl gone mad Jan 2012 #1
Travis_0004 Jan 2012 #3
GliderGuider Jan 2012 #5
izquierdista Jan 2012 #7
GliderGuider Jan 2012 #8
Owlet Jan 2012 #2
dipsydoodle Jan 2012 #6
BiggJawn Jan 2012 #4

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 07:06 AM

1. More casualties of the war on (some) drugs. n/t

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Response to girl gone mad (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:31 AM

3. Would you for making meth legal?

 

I know most people on this forum, myself included, would support legalizing marijuana, but I don't know how many people will support legalizing meth. I doubt that will ever be a legal drug in our lifetimes.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:53 AM

5. Yes, I'm in favour of legalizing all drugs without exception.

 

But I'm perhaps a bit more radical on this topic than most.

IMO the illegality of psychoactive drugs does far more damage than the drugs themselves would if they were legal and appropriately regulated. Having them all out in the open would make it possible for people to choose the less harmful ones, get treatment more easily if needed, and not be exposed to "manufacturing" risks like this.

And yes, that includes meth, heroin and LSD.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 10:10 AM

7. Now we know your medical training -- none

 

There are chemicals, I won't call them drugs, which have no useful human application -- Zyklon B comes to mind. Although small doses of methamphetamine can be therapeutic, the doses taken by substance abusers quickly destroy the human body and any government concerned about its citizens would outlaw it. But a blanket prohibition to "NOT TOUCH" is only going to serve as a dare to some, an inducement to see what the forbidden "pleasure" is. If the government is really concerned about the welfare of its citizens, then it will not just have prohibitions, but it will inform citizens, educating them of the dangers (real ones, not 'Reefer Madness'), and will provide free treatment, without legal judgments, on those who find themselves so addicted.

I'm not surprised that meth causes the most expensive hospitalizations. It's in keeping with the fact that meth addicts can total a foreclosed house worth a couple hundred thousand so that they can sell a couple hundred dollars of scrap metal for a fix.

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Response to izquierdista (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 10:43 AM

8. Does a Zyklon B reference qualify for Godwin's Law?

 

Obviously I was talking about recreational drugs. I know meth is harmful. As I said, I think it should be legal and regulated. We can't prevent people from harming themselves altogether, but I think that approach is the most sensible from a harm reduction point of view.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:11 AM

2. The obvious solution is to ban 2-liter soda bottles

..but I'm sure Ron Paul has a better idea.

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Response to Owlet (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 09:08 AM

6. Or just eat M&Ms

which are a lot safer and to me infinitely preferable.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:42 AM

4. People are hurting. They try to self-medicate any way they can.

Legalize, tax and regulate drugs and the meth labs will disappear. Like alcohol, most people will self-regulate their use. And like alcohol, the ones who don't can be taken care of.

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