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Friday, February 3, 2012

Moral panic about METH continues

From local news organizations in past week or so:

The number of methamphetamine labs being found in Northwest North Carolina is on the rise again.

The discovery of clandestine meth labs had dropped markedly after a 2006 law required that certain cold medicines — ones that can be used in making meth — be placed behind pharmacy counters so they aren't as easily accessible. But the numbers are rising again as a simpler "one pot" method of producing methamphetamine spreads. 

And what were the numbers? (keep in mind that each county around here has TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HOUSEHOLDS!)

Wilkes County saw a spike to 19 meth labs in 2011, the fourth most of any county in the state, according to statistics from the State Bureau of Investigation. That's up from the seven labs busted in 2010. Officials found just two labs in 2009, one in 2008 and none in 2007.

Watauga County had 22 clandestine meth labs in 2011, the second most of any county in the state. Watauga had 20 labs found in 2010, but just three in 2009, five in 2008 and three in 2007. 

So, is this something to get concerned about? Something to be afraid of?

Apparently so. Which explains this article titled, "Meth: Still bad, still illegal."Seriously, that is the title.

And this explains efforts in the region like this one:

Virginia police and pharmacists are backing a bill proposed by Del. Ben Cline, R-Amherst, aimed at curbing the production of methamphetamine by electronically monitoring the sales of nonprescription drugs, like pseudoephedrine, used to manufacture the illegal stimulant.

And this one in North Carolina:

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says a new law that tracks the main ingredient used to make the drug methamphetamine is already producing impressive results.

I'm not saying we should ignore meth. It is a real problem.

I'm just saying it is a REAL SMALL problem. And there are MUCH BIGGER problems in our state, even drug problems. So let's not go meth crazy here!


  1. According to wikipedia, the 2000 census reported 16,540 households in Watauga County at that time. If there has been no household increase (Forbes magazine recently named Boone the fastest growing small town in America, so that is highly unlikely), then that means a whopping .1% of Watauga County households are making meth!!! They're everywhere! One in every 1,000 households is making meth!

    Also, I'm glad someone told me meth was still bad. What would we do without hard hitting reporting like that?

  2. Excellent work! Great post for class discussion as well.