#4 is the most troubling. What else do we have besides treatment? A reporter friend who lives in Northern California pointed out to me over the weekend that any serious meth-response strategy would have to involve cracking down on the superlabs in California; the decentralized mini-labs at home account for only 20 percent of the supply, after all. (Although they may account for a disproportionate percentage of meth-related problems, like counterfeiting and violence. I don't know.) That's true as far as it goes, but when has the United States ever cracked down on drug supplies abroad effectively? Very rarely.
- "[A] study by the National Conference of State Legislatures finds that 10 percent of users were introduced to meth by their parents or other family members." Though I don't know how that compares to other drugs, I would guess that its higher than most everything but, obviously, cigarettes and alcohol.
- Women are more likely to lose meth than men—perhaps because it's a weight loss drug, the theory goes. ("One federal survey of people arrested for all crimes found that 11.3 percent of women had used meth within the prior month compared with 4.7 percent of men.")
- Even if, nation-wide, the meth problem isn't increasing per se—again, we just don't know—it is moving further north and further east, which explains the recent media spotlight. There were more meth lab incidents last year in Illinois than in California.
- Treatment is horribly lackluster. "[O]nly 16 percent of counties surveyed have a meth rehabilitation center, which means that for most charged, jail is the only option."