Still No Meth Epidemic


Today the National Institute on Drug Abuse released the latest results from its Monitoring the Future survey of students, and there is still hardly any evidence of the methamphetamine "epidemic" about which we've been hearing so much. In fact, there were statistically significant drops in lifetime use of meth among 10th- and 12th-graders between 2004 and 2005. Past-year and past-month use also fell in both grades. The only increase in meth use was among eighth-graders, with lifetime use rising from 2.5 percent to 3.1 percent, past-year use rising from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent, and past-month use rising from 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent. None of these increases was statistically significant. As I've mentioned before, the picture is similar in surveys of adults: flat or falling use during the last several years. After seeing the latest numbers, I'm sure Congress will relent and let us have easy access to cold medicine.

NEXT: The Geneva Conventions Do Not Apply at the Malibu Playhouse

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m sure Congress will relent and let us have easy access to cold medicine.

    We’ll need it, seeing that Hell will be frozen over.

  2. But that just means that our current strategy is working, so we should do even more of it.

  3. Guys, come on. You’re failing to see that when our government looks out for us and fights the meth epidemic, what they’re really taking on is a potential epidemic. Pre-emptive strikes are the way to go, after all, which is why once we’ve fially defeated this potential meth epidemic, I hope we take on swimming pools (potential drowning epidemic) and Canada, for the potential that they could some day export another comedian as grating a Martin Short.

  4. My Congressman last week announced a new anti-meth lab campaign that he secured federal buckaroos for – an ad campaign to be exact. According to the DEA (news behind subscription wall), there were 73 meth labs found in NYState two years ago, 53 last year, and 21 so far this year.

    Way to be on top of things.

    To celebrate the ad campaign and subsidies to prohibition welfare queens, they brought a Missouri sheriff to discuss the (non-)problem, because they decided it was a good idea to take advice from a guy whose state has seen thousands of meth labs and a closer-to-real(?) epidemic. Maybe, if we try real hard, we can create one in New York?

    And, you ask (but not really because you know better), did they bring anybody with any experience treating meth addicts to discuss the potential problems and solutions? Heh. Yeah right.

    Monitoring the Future

    Love the name. So very totalitarian.

    I wonder if DHS might be able to borrow it for their interlibrary loan/student travel monitoring program, should that program actually exist.

    None of these increases was statistically significant.

    Non-significant fluctuations for a non-significant issue. Surely they need to spend more money, paricularly in New York where meth isn’t a problem and the number of meth lab “incidents” has dropped 66% without spending any money at all.

  5. there were statistically significant drops in lifetime use of meth

    Then chalk up another win for the drug warriors. On to the next epidemic. Don’t know what it is yet, but it’s going to be worse than the last. Coming soon to a news source near you. More gruesome than meth-mouth, more addictive than air. Able to leap social demographics in a single bound, it’s a pill, it’s a powder, it’s, it’s…

  6. Epidemic. They make it sound like polio or something. *rolls eyes* Just another way to try to reclassify an individual choice issue as a “public” issue.

  7. After seeing the latest numbers, I’m sure Congress will relent and let us have easy access to cold medicine.

    Plainly Jacob has been snorting the Sudafed again.

  8. No one must ever be allowed to become intoxicated on anything, except booze of course. And anything that one can become intoxicated on must be banned, except booze of course. Think of the children.

  9. Warren, you forgot cigarettes.

    Thinking about the drug war makes me want a beer and a hit of acid to forget about the drug war.


  11. See Wasteland: Innocent victims of Meth for the truth!
    It was on MSNBC last night.

  12. What is truly amazing is that the government didn’t have to put anyone behind bars to foster the record reduction we’re seeing in youth cigarette use, while the more than 700,000 marijuana arrests last year resulted in little to no drop in youth marijuana use.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Drug Czar.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.