Iowa restricted the sale of cold medicines with pseudoephedrine in them about 7 months ago and since then reduced their local meth lab busts about 80%, from 120 to only 20 a month. A great success! But now they have a new problem. With the downturn in locally made methamphetamine the towns are being flooded with crystal methamphetamine from Mexico.
This methamphetamine is 2-4 times as potent and they have seen a rise in overdoses as a result. In addition to this, the supply shortage has increased the price on the street for the drug and forced some addicts into burglary and other crimes.
Sometimes called ice, crystal methamphetamine is far purer, and therefore even more highly addictive, than powdered home-cooked methamphetamine, a change that health officials say has led to greater risk of overdose. And because crystal methamphetamine costs more, the police say thefts are increasing, as people who once cooked at home now have to buy it.
The University of Iowa Burn Center, which in 2004 spent $2.8 million treating people whose skin had been scorched off by the toxic chemicals used to make methamphetamine at home, says it now sees hardly any cases of that sort. Drug treatment centers, on the other hand, say they are treating just as many or more methamphetamine addicts.
And although child welfare officials say they are removing fewer children from homes where parents are cooking the drug, the number of children being removed from homes where parents are using it has more than made up the difference.
"It's killing us, this Mexican ice," said [state drug policy director Marvin] Van Haaften, a former sheriff. "I'm not sure we can control it as well as we can the meth labs in your community."
The article continues on with the bad news all around. It seems to author has a serious hatred of the pseudoephedrine restriction law or is in favor of legalizing drugs.
How we solve this problem is another issue to add to the table of what to do about Mexico.
How about you? How would you solve this problem? Legalize the drugs? Close the border? Impose harsher sentences? Spout off below.
Tipped by: Join Together (via FARK)