Looking for the Next Drug Menace


In my book Saying Yes, I describe how the title of Most Addictive Drug rotates from one substance to another over the years. The reigning champion right now still seems to be methamphetamine, which Bill Clinton declared "the crack of the '90s." Eric Sterling recently pointed me to an A.P. story about meth in which a North Carolina sheriff declares, "This thing is worse than heroin. It's worse than crack."

By now such claims are so familiar that you have to wonder which drug will be declared worse than meth. What is the "meth of the '00s"? Surely it can't be meth.

Searches on Google and Nexis suggest a contender. "We have the beginning of an epidemic out there that's as bad or worse than meth," a mayoral candidate told the Salt Lake City Weekly in 2000. Two years later, a local principal told the Des Moines Register, "I fear this is going to be worse than meth or crack."

Name that drug. Hint: It's not OxyContin.