Pubdate: Tue, 08 Mar 2005
Source: Tullahoma News (TN)
Copyright: The Tullahoma News 2005
Author: David Clark
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


To the editor:

The meth epidemic is not a crime wave. It's a social disease as easily 
communicated as the flu, and much more dangerous.

It mainly attracts the poor white people of our community which is why it's 
received so little political attention before now.

Before we can begin to stop it we must first consider the fundamental 
differences in this drug problem and the cocaine, crack, heroin, 
amphetamine scourge that has plagued our great country for 40 years.

Those drugs cause a physical addiction and help to generate an illegal 
business that produces annual profits in the billions in this country.

The meth problem generates little if any profit.

The typical meth lab supplies 1-3 people with the drug. The makers of the 
drug don't sell to the addicts. They are the addicts.

And one of the saddest pieces of the puzzle is that it's all in their head. 
Meth is one of the most powerful psychologically addictive concoctions in 
the world. It's also one of the deadliest.

The average meth user can survive only four to seven years of continuous use.

Our political leaders, though well intended, think of this as something we 
can either wish away or end with jail time and fines. They need to realize 
first that the legal drug corporations who make some of the ingredients 
will have their way on what drugs they can manufacture. But most 
importantly, they must be told that this problem can't be legislated away 
any more than you can pass a law against the flu.

You can raise the fines but these people have no money. You can throw them 
jail but that does nothing to cure them. You can make a dog understand what 
you're punishing him for but not a meth addict. I guess that's the one 
thing this meth drug war and the cocaine and heroin drug war have in 
common. It can't be won by punishing the victims.

David Clark
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