Despite heavy media coverage and a campaigns specifically designed to decrease Meth use among young Montanans, the meth ‘epidemic’ might be wildly overstated. According to STATS, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group at George Mason University, the meth epidemic was the worst example of the media misusing and/or misrepresenting scientifc information in 2005:
Methamphetamine (known as ‘meth’) was the King Kong of the drug war in 2005 – decried on the nightly news, the newsweekly covers, and the morning news programs . Newsweek called it “America’s Most Dangerous Drug” (and showed gruesome photos of “meth mouth.”). The New York Times reported that it was more difficult to beat than crack. But academic research tells a different story. According to the University of Michigan, meth use among high school students has actually declined 28% in the last five years. And the current number of meth users (583,000) is only slightly greater than the number of crack users (450,000), although the “crack epidemic” is portrayed as a thing of the past. As for the claim that relapse rates are worse among meth addicts than other drug abusers, it’s simply not true. Only six percent of those who have tried methamphetamines also reported using it in the last month. That’s hardly a sign.