billMeth is a common drug that’s been at the forefront of the media for the past 10 years. Methamphetamine usage is incredibly dangerous and addictive and can harm entire communities. The rates of usage have been slowly going down, and the seizures of meth and meth labs has gone up, but fighting against meth usage is a constant battle and needs new and innovative methods to curb the drug’s proliferation.

The Combat Meth Act

In 2006, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein authored the Combat Meth Act which was designed to attack methamphetamine production by reducing the availability of necessary ingredients. Cold medicines that can be found in any drugstore contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine which can be easily synthesized into methamphetamine. The Combat Meth Act called for many of the cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to be put behind the counter with some requiring prescriptions. This is associated with a drop in methamphetamine usage and meth lab seizure statistics for 2007.

But while the act was effective in attacking methamphetamine production, statistics started growing after 2007. The meth labs and the criminals behind the labs started to adapt to the law and find new ways to create the drug. Thus, in 2010 Dianne Feinstein authored a new law called the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act which closed loopholes in the original act.

Meth labs had found that mail-order distributors would sell drugs to them under the guise of being a pharmacy or retail store. These distributors were able to sell pharmaceuticals, including drugs with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, without proper certification. The new act requires the distributors to publish lists of who they are selling to, as well as properly identifying retail certifications and requirements.

The Need to innovate

The situations that brought about those two acts showcase a major problem behind the meth problem in America. While the DEA and local agencies do lots to ensure that the meth labs are getting caught and the drugs are staying off the streets, efforts need to continue to ensure that they aren’t falling behind the drug dealers and distributors. The keys to effectively fighting meth are educating people on the effects and dangers of meth use, cutting off the supplies to make meth and destroying the production and distribution networks that put the drug into people’s hands. The addition to the meth act works to fight against the supplies needed to produce meth and cracking down on meth labs and the Mexican cartels importing the drug is probably best left to the authorities. So what can you do in the fight against meth?

Your Face on Meth

Your face on meth is a new app that shows people what their face would look like if they became a drug addict. You take a picture of yourself and upload it to the app. The app adds sunken cheeks, sores, mottled skin and blackened eyes to your previously beautiful visage. This app is a new way to raise awareness about the effects of meth. It connects with young people, and the social nature of sharing pictures is a good way to spread the message in today’s information age.

So what else can be done? Spread the news. Methamphetamine use is all around us and more work needs to be done to ensure that those around us aren’t falling prey to the drug. Support local anti-drug events. Enter into and promote meth awareness bike rides or runs. Try to look out for signs of meth use in those around you and do what you can to help those people. Thinking of new ways to promote the dangers of meth use will help fight the innovations being made by those producing and delivering the drug.

References:

Justice.gov – http://www.justice.gov/dea/resource-center/statistics.shtml#seizures

DrugAbuse.gov – What is the Scope of Methamphetamine Abuse in the United States? – http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine-abuse-addiction/what-scope-methamphetamine-abuse-in-united-states

Psfk.com – Effects of Drug Use App –http://www.psfk.com/2013/08/effects-of-drug-use-app.html#!C1NkB

feinstein.senate.gov – President Obama Signs Combat… – http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=aa6def5a-5056-8059-7660-40dfcf1a7a23