This Is What The Meth Epidemic In America Looks Like

Anti-drug advertisements like the Not Even Once campaign and major media coverage of meth abuse would have one believe that America is at war with toothless, murdering drug users. Meth is bad, plain and simple, but new studies suggest that it isn’t the epidemic of media portrayals. Here are the facts about meth use in the United States:

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Meth Epidemic Crystal

Amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887 and its cousin, methamphetamine, was discovered in 1919. Source: Wikimedia

Meth Epidemic Red Meth

By 1943, both drugs were used to treat various conditions, including narcolepsy, obesity, alcoholism and behavioral disorders. Source: CBS Local

Meth Epidemic Lab

When Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act in 1971, meth and amphetamines were classified as Schedule II drugs, the highest restriction on prescription drugs. Black market demand increased. Source: ABC News

Meth Epidemic Burns

Meth is most common in the rural parts of the United States because of its cheap ingredients and relatively simple production process. Source: Car Memes

Meth Epidemic Mobile Home

However, when things go badly, meth labs can cause fires and burn those around production. Source: Herald Mail Media

Meth Epidemic Fire

Children are frequently the victims of these fires because their parents are cooking meth in the house. Source: North Escambia

Meth Epidemic Shake Bake

Meth users have developed a new method for cooking meth called “Shake and Bake.” Ingredients are mixed in a bottle and shaken until meth is formed. Source: Nashville Public Radio

Meth Epidemic Burn Photo

The shake and bake method of meth production is also highly volatile. Most burns seen in hospitals now are from use of this method. Source: M Live

Meth Epidemic House

Meth users are frequently uninsured and it costs $230,000 to treat a meth burn victim. Source: KVAL

Meth Epidemic Jael

Jael Strauss, of America’s Next Top Model fame, became the new face of meth use when she appeared on the Dr. Phil Show in 2012 to discuss her addiction. Source: Jezebel

Meth Epidemic Mugshot

These before and after images are often used to show the physical effects of meth use. Its physical side effects are similar to the side effects of Adderall abuse, used to treat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Source: Mother Jones

Meth Epidemic Sudafed

Some states have instituted prescription only laws on cold medicines that are commonly used in the production of meth, including ones that contain pseudoephedrine. Source: Columbian

Meth Epidemic Map

This map shows reports of meth lab incidents across the United States. The Midwest has the highest incidence. Source: DEA

Meth Epidemic Search

A recent study by Columbia University psychologist Carl Hart states that meth does not seem to be as addictive as previously thought. Only 15% of everyone who has ever tried meth has become addicted. Source: NOLA

Meth Epidemic Investigation

Meth use is actually on the decline in the United States. On average, only 0.2 to 0.4 of the population has used it. However, 1% of 8th graders had tried it in the last year according to a 2012 study. Source: Daily Republic

Meth Epidemic Powder Meth

Meth causes the brain to release dopamine and generate an overall feeling of well-being. This can lead to a change in the way the body releases dopamine when not under the influence and cause thinking problems. Source: LA Times

Meth Epidemic Ad

Increased and prolonged use of meth can causes sleeplessness, paranoia, extreme mood swings and sometimes, hallucinations. Source: Deviant Art

Meth Epidemic Paraphernalia

Meth can be ingested orally, smoked or injected. Meth users frequently share paraphernalia, including needles, which can put a user at risk for blood borne diseases, including HIV. Source: ECM Post Review

Meth Epidemic Bedroom

Many physical and mental impacts of the drug are exacerbated by unsanitary living conditions and poverty, leading to even worse side effects. Source: WFTV

Meth Epidemic Bust

While highlighted frequently on TV shows, more people admitted into rehab programs for alcohol and opiate abuse than meth. In 2011, 41% of admissions were related to alcohol versus 6% related to methamphetamine use. Source: Tristate Homepage

Meth Epidemic Hawaii

Hawaii has instituted programs to keep kids off meth, as the state is more afflicted than many other states in the Union when it comes to the drug. Meth charges constitute 90% of the federal drug charges in the state. Source: Hawaii HE

Meth Epidemic User

California has also had a long struggle with meth addiction. In the 1990s, San Diego was a hub for meth production, though much of the creation and sales has been taken over by Mexican drug cartels. Source: Hive Health Media

Meth Epidemic Cash

The cartels run super labs that can produce 10 pounds of “ice” or crystal meth in 24 hours. Source: Business Insider

Meth Epidemic Blue Meth

Blue meth was popularized by the hit television show Breaking Bad. It featured chemistry teacher Walter White delving into meth production to make money to treat his cancer. Dyed blue meth now pops up from time to time. Source: Oklahoma Legal Group

Meth Epidemic Donut

The show was filmed in Albuquerque and was the impetus for marketing around it. Donuts topped with “blue meth” candy are sold in a local bakery. Source: Meme Droid

Meth Epidemic Lego

Breaking Bad even hit the toy market, inspiring a Lego set that replicates the show’s meth lab. Source: Blogography

Meth Epidemic Graph

This graph displays the amount of meth seized by the United States from 2002 to 2011. While more meth is being intercepted, 80% of is run by the Sinaloa cartel. Source: Business Insider

Meth Epidemic Dog

In 2012, leaked emails from a private U.S. security firm state that the U.S. government permits the Sinaloa cartel to operate in exchange for limiting the violence in Mexico. A Mexican official backed this claim as well. Source: Here And Now

Meth Epidemic

Drug legislation is tougher on meth than on heroin, in spite of the fact that heroin is more frequently abused than meth. Source: Vodka And Pancakes

Meth Epidemic Montana

Drug abuse continues to be an issue of concern in the United States and throughout the world. Education and social outreach, not fear mongering, can spread the message of self-preservation. Source: Wikipedia

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For a more thorough explanation, be sure to check out the full-length documentary, American Meth, featured below for your convenience:

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7 Beautiful National Parks You Need To Visit

There are more than 400 national parks in the United States, each either representing a place of great scientific, educational or recreational value, or being known for their exceptional beauty. Covering all climates and land types, these national parks are some of the most breathtaking locales in all of the world. Here are seven lesser-known yet incredibly beautiful national parks that you should visit.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Source: Wikimedia

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Grand Jury’s Decision To Drop Case Against Ferguson Police Officer As Unusual As It Is Upsetting

Protests in Ferguson, Missouri

Source: USA Today

On Monday, November 24th, 2014 a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Mike Brown, this past summer. The decision to drop the case against Wilson has sparked thousands of protests across the nation.

This case is notable for more than its highly publicized nature: it’s also incredibly unusual for a grand jury to decline to return an indictment. In 2010, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases, and only dropped 11 (16%) of them. According to University of Illinois law professor, Andrew D. Leipold, “if the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong… It just doesn’t happen.” As former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously stated, a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” There is one notable exception to this rule–when the accused is a police officer.

Furgeson's Grand Jury failed to indite WIlson

Number of cases federal courts declined to prosecute are in red. Source: Washington Post

The alarming trend of grand juries dropping cases against police officers is not unique to Ferguson, but a nationwide issue stemming from a systematic lack of officer accountability. According to Michael Bell, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and the father of a 21-year-old Wisconsin man who was handcuffed and then shot in the head at point blank range by a police officer, “if police on duty believe they can get away with almost anything, they will act accordingly.” Thanks largely to the Bell family, Wisconsin became the first (and currently the only) state which requires outside review of all officer-involved fatalities.

Even if positive social or political change comes out of Mike Brown’s death it won’t happen quick enough to change this week’s decision, and questions surrounding the case still remain. Jurors didn’t need to believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Wilson had committed a crime. All they needed for an indictment was to feel that there was probable cause. There were multiple eye-witnesses who claimed Brown raised his hands in the air, and irrefutable evidence that Wilson fired at the unarmed teen ten times, so why was the case against Wilson dropped?

Lyndon B. Johnson’s Amphibious Car

Amphibious Car

Before the Vietnam War would pin the death-nail on his presidential legacy, LBJ managed to have quite a sense of humor. Seen here is LBJ’s amphibious car, which he would use at his Texas ranch to play pranks on guests. One stand out prank was taking his guests out for a spin, pretend to lose control of the vehicle as they approached the lake, and shout “The brakes don’t work! We’re going in! We’re going under!” The car would then enter the water where, as guests were trying to prevent their heart from popping out of their chests, Johnson would laugh.
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