Many methamphetamine users will be at their stoves Tuesday, cooking up their weekly stash, the Los Angeles Times reports. A new study by Southern California narcotics experts finds that many addicts opt to cook a personal supply of the white crystalline stimulant – a cheap and highly addictive substitute for cocaine – on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, in the middle of the night.
Why those days? Because by Monday, many addicts have used up their supply. They wait until late to mix up a new batch because, the later the hour, the less chance they’ll get caught.
The report was one of two studies by the Inland Narcotics Clearing House, a branch of the Office of National Drug Policy Control made up of a consortium of local and federal law enforcement agencies. The first provided an annual review of meth lab seizures during 2002. The second was based on a survey of 200 admitted methamphetamine addicts at rehabilitation facilities.
Stove-top cooks make meth to use, not sell. And though they only produce about 20% of the nation’s meth, they are the most abundant, said a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Local authorities say the surveys have given them a better idea of who these stove-top cooks are: middle-aged, blue-collar white males living in suburban areas. The study estimates that between 1999 and 2001, more than 250,000 people in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties learned to cook methamphetamine – also known as speed or crank. One of the study’s most startling revelations is how state and federal restrictions on the sale of methamphetamine’s ingredients, such as over-the-counter decongestants and a variety of industrial cleaning solutions, have spawned a new breed of junkie known as the “dirt baron”–people who scour the desert looking for leftover meth-making materials dumped by meth-lab operators.