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"Signs of progress in the fight against meth" (The Oregonian)

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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:46 AM
Original message
"Signs of progress in the fight against meth" (The Oregonian)
Edited on Tue Nov-21-06 02:08 AM by pinto
Signs of progress in the fight against meth

Purity is declining, prices are rising, chemical producers are cutting back and traffickers are fighting for supplies.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's working. The international effort to control the chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine is having an effect. The Oregonian's Steve Suo reports encouraging signs of progress around the world:

On the streets of Oregon and communities across the nation, where the purity of meth is falling and the price is rising.

At the nine overseas factories that manufacture most of the world's ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, where production has collapsed, employees are being laid off and share prices for company stock have plunged.

<snip>

But this is a moment to recognize the progress so far, and to redouble the local and international meth-fighting strategies that are clearly successful. It's also an answer to all those who said the meth controls were a waste of time or resources, and that strict limits on cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine would do nothing but inconvenience law-abiding people seeking the over-the-counter medicines.

The skeptics were wrong. Suo reports that meth seized by drug agents in spring 2006 averaged only 51 percent pure, down from 77 percent the year before. At the same time, street prices for meth have more than doubled. All this is saving lives and reducing the human cost of meth abuse. Study after study has found that fewer people use drugs when the purity is low and the price is high.

<more here:>

http://www.oregonlive.com/editorials/oregonian/index.ss...

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. that would be really good as this is a terribly destructive drug.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yeah. Saw a PBS (?) special about the traffic. A DEA agent who was
instrumental in choking the supply of Quaaludes in the '80's was real vocal about how meth use could be curtailed. Control the transport/sale of the pharmaceuticals used as a base, he said.

Only a handful of companies produce them and apparently there's been some action to monitor their sales and call them to account. Good news.

As you say, it's a terribly destructive drug, not only to the user, but their family and friends as well.

(aside) This journalist deserves some kudos, as well. He's been on this story for a while.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. They got all the Sudafed around here locked up tight
so that folks have to sign for it and nobody gets more than 2 packages.

Now the meth comes from Mexico.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. Too bad the majority of the $40 Billion a year drug war budget goes to fighting pot smoking.
Imagine, if we redirected those resources into treatment on demand and fact-based education about truly dangerous drugs, like meth.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I hear you. Go figure.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Got a point there
Meth, Coke, Oxycontin. That's where the real damage gets done.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I don't do anything anymore- but it was alcohol that caused me the most problems in my youth.
Booze can be EXTREMELY dangerous. But I don't think prohibition is the answer to substance abuse, at least not to the extent of "drug wars" involving massive incarceration of non-violent offenders who aren't committing other crimes. With something like oxycontin, you have to weigh the potential for abuse versus the fact that, due to an over-zealous DEA, oftentimes people with legitimate pain management issues can't get the palliative care they need. Same with morphine, etc. I'd really hate to have something like bone cancer and have a doctor who is too terrified of the DEA to prescribe the pain medication I'd need! Frankly, I put managing pain on a higher rung than "preventing addiction". That's just me.

I'm not sure what the answer is with something like meth; I tend to think the Netherlands, where drug abuse is treated as a public health issue, and they adopt a harm reduction approach for hard drugs, is on the right track.

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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-21-06 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. That's good news...
Unfortunately, meth is now being replaced by a mixture of heroin and tylenol p.m. as the new nasty drug going around.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm really frightened of the day some whiz-kid chemist discovers a way to synthesize and enhance caffeine into a powerful street drug. In fact, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
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