Report: Media Hype Helps Build Myth of Meth ‘Epidemic’


America’s methamphetamine “epidemic” is a myth, according to a report released today by The Sentencing Project. The report, “The Next Big Thing? Methamphetamine in the United States,” reveals that meth is one of the rarest of illegal drugs used and that its use is declining among youth and has stabilized among adults. The report says sensational news coverage of meth has distorted the truth about the drug's prevalence, growth, dangers and treatment. It singles out Newsweek, the Washington Post, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Oregonian.

The report was written by Ryan S. King, a policy analyst with The Sentencing Project, a 20-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization that develops alternative sentencing programs and criminal justice policy. King said local and state authorities, not the federal government, are best equipped to deal with methamphetamine abuse. He said meth use remains rare across most of the country and is not indicative of a nationwide problem and that treatment programs are highly effective in combating meth addictions. The Crime & Justice News link gives access to the Sentencing Project website, where a copy of the 44-page report can be downloaded.


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