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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Uncovering America's methamphetamine history

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Friday, April 12, 2024   

Missouri may, at one time, have had a reputation as the "meth-lab capital of the country" - but a five-part podcast uncovers its true history.

"Home Cooked: A Fifty-Year History of Meth in America" delves into the relationship of methamphetamine use with broader drug policies and social and cultural ramifications.

Reporter Olivia Weeks with The Daily Yonder, who produced and hosts the podcast, said meth use was once associated with rural areas, but that assumption is inaccurate. Weeks said Missouri fought back against its meth-lab reputation.

"They policed their meth-lab problem really strongly, and had really high lab bust numbers and then those have basically disappeared," she said. "But now, the rest of the country is dealing with this problem that was associated with Missouri."

In the podcast, she explains that most of the methamphetamine entering the United States comes through commercial points of entry, hidden in legal shipping containers, rather than being smuggled across the border by individuals.

Weeks said the real dangers of meth result in part from it being outlawed. She explained that even when it was a prescription drug in the 1950s and '60s, there was illegal use - but at least it was made by pharmaceutical companies. Once methamphetamine became illegal, she said, the lack of control over its production has led to environmental damage and dangerous chemical processes being attempted in home labs.

"The main problem, main danger of using methamphetamine is that you don't know what's in it," she said, "and you don't know what dose you're taking."

She acknowledged the pharmaceutical industry's history of exploiting addictive drugs, and cautioned against a simple solution such as decriminalizing or legalizing meth use. Instead, she said, her research has prompted her to support harm-reduction strategies that keep users safe.

This story was produced with original reporting by Olivia Weeks for The Daily Yonder.

Disclosure: Daily Yonder contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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