Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meth People Suck

Earlier today a regular reader of the Babble (and running partner) came home to find that someone had tried to pry and kick in his front door. Evidently the strength of meth addicts isn't what it used to be, and the very nice $400 front door easily withstood the attack. A few pry marks and some dirty shoeprints along with a slight crack near the bolt was the extent of the damage. Still, just about nothing in the daily battle called "life" deflates us like attempted home invasions. After a few disgusted looks at the damaged door, regular reader and I ran our little, extremely short, jog a bit heavier in spirit as well as winter weight.

The incident reminded me of several depressing meth related articles I've read in recent days. You might have seen a story in the NY Times over the weekend about how Mexican crystal meth, or "Ice", is replacing homemade meth in the Midwestern U.S. as states such as Iowa outlaw OTC sale of cold medicines used to make the bathtub version of the drug. So instead of really helping to solve the addiction problem, the Iowa law has shifted users toward the higher potency Mexican variant.

One result of the meth addiction evolution noted in the story:

"Our burglaries have just skyrocketed," said Jerry Furness, who represents Buchanan County, 150 miles northeast of Des Moines, on the Iowa drug task force. "The state asks how the decrease in meth labs has reduced danger to citizens, and it has, as far as potential explosions. But we've had a lot of burglaries where the occupants are home at the time, and that's probably more of a risk. So it's kind of evening out."

Uh oh. I hate those kind of tough choices...house exploding next door or home invasion by drug-addled meth heads. Personally, I'd take the house exploding, but then I have a bit of space between houses out here in the Valley.

There are other stories out there, and they are just as depressing. Something needs to be done, and Gov. Big Bill does have a measure on the Legislative call to strengthen meth penalities in the state. Still, just as with any addiction problem, stricter sentencing isn't enough. We need expanded rehab programs, education, counseling, etc...you know...all that boring stuff Republicans just can't stand. We know simply increasing sentencing isn't going to seriously decrease the rising property crime rate caused by meth addiction, but what can we do?

Actually I just spent about an hour typing up this "plan" to solve the meth/burglary problem that included elements stolen from ideas in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" and involved having all the meth users offing themselves and such, but even my most Libertarian tendencies couldn't pull the trigger in publishing it. I'll just say it started with making crystal meth a free governmental subsidized drug and ended up with some sort of "Infinite Jest" meets "Soylent Green" government indirect death sentencing program.

Trust me, you're better off not being exposed to it, a statement which is, in its own way, a veiled "Infinite Jest" reference. Check out the "IJ" link in blue above if you want to see how obsessed some people are with that novel. And while I'm suffering from a Wallaceian level digression I might as well also add that "Infinite Jest" gets the most intense eye rolls and sickened looks from my friends and acquaintances of any book that I have ever read or even mentioned. It basically serves as a conversational "whoopie cushion" whenever I bring it up, an intellectual neutron bomb. I'd be better off trying to convince my friends to have registered sex offenders move next door to them than have them try to read this book again.

But, as I said above, I digress. The meth problem is bad. Maybe my running partner's front door was pried and kicked by someone not addicted to meth. If so, I apologize to the growing meth addict community. Meanwhile, I wish my running partner and regular reader friend well as he shops for a new front door and all the other hassles brought to bear by these frustrating dips in the tide of daily life.

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