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Meth is top drug problem, survey says



METH-LAB-PHOTOS 067.jpg
Meth is top drug problem, survey says
According to a crime survey of 45 states, Methamphetamine has overtaken cocaine as the biggest drug problem in rural and small towns in the US. More than half of the 500 county law enforcement polled said the highly addictive substance was their biggest drug problem. Methamphetamine is a chemical variant of amphetamine with much more powerful effects. It is easy to produce using chemicals found on farms, and the homemade labs which produce it are less easy to detect in the countryside reports BBC

The ingredients are highly toxic and highly flammable, often resulting in serious explosions. And the drug itself, which is smoked, inhaled or injected, is extremely addictive, producing a high that lasts several hours and leading to binges that often last days or even weeks.

The problem started in the northwestern US, but it is moving east - and it is now having a "devastating" effect on communities nationwide the Washington-based National Association of Counties (Naco) said. "Methamphetamine abuse is mainly a rural and suburban problem but it is slowly moving to the cities," Naco research director Jacqueline Byers told the BBC news website.

The findings are based on figures collated from rural and suburban areas and do not include most of the country's largest cities. Half of the counties surveyed said 20% of people in their jails were there because of meth-related crimes.

"Meth abuse is ruining lives and families and filling our jails," said Bill Hansell, president-elect of the association and a commissioner from Umatilla County, Ore., which has led that state in laboratory seizures.


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