Methamphetamine – A document well worth a read

Hi,

Many of you will recognise the writings of US psychologist Carl Hart, having had many interesting things to say about crack, and now methamphetamine. Yes there have been many books on the subject but this is different and you can read it all here right now! It is a fascinating read on meth, the facts and the hype. If the subject interests you, and I reckon it probably does, give it a read. Love to hear your comments.

Report cover

Text From Open Society Institute: The rise in methamphetamine use has provoked a barrage of misinformation and reckless policies, such as mandatory minimum sentences, increased penalties for minor offenders and major restrictions against certain medicines.

This new report, titled Methamphetamine: Fact vs. Fiction and Lessons from the Crack Hysteria, reveals the extreme stigmatization of users and dangerous policy responses that are reminiscent of the crack hysteria in the 1980s and 1990s, which led to grossly misguided laws that accelerated mass incarceration in the United States.

The report recommends that national and international policymakers review laws that harshly punish methamphetamine possession or use, invest in treatment rather than punishment, restudy the restriction of access to amphetamines for legitimate medical purposes, and stop supporting wasteful and ineffective campaigns of misinformation on methamphetamine use.

Go straight to the 36 page report here 

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1 Comment

  1. A message I recently sent to Dr. Hart. Experience is the best teacher:
    Conversation started March 6
    Connie Criscitello
    3/6, 7:01am
    Connie Criscitello
    Dr Hart, I’m listening to your NPR interview as I write this. FINALLY, someone who dares to state the truth about drugs, and drug addiction. Our culture stereotypes drug users as the scum of the earth dirt bags who deserve nothing but misery and pain. Case in point: I often like to read the comments related to local news items related to drug busts/arrests….it seems most in our society would rejoice at public hangings to get rid of all the scum bag meth heads in the world. A recent article I read was about 3 adults who had a small meth lab set up in their trailer. There also happened to be a 3 year old child living in the trailer as well. Well, needless to say, everyone who commented called the adults every foul name they could think of and then said, “but my heart goes out to that poor little baby.” I responded by telling them they shouldn’t feel too badly for the 3 year old because he will surely have a meth lab of his own someday and he will be nothing but a scumbag to them. I asked them to try and visualize the 3 adults arrested as 3 year old children. They, just like the little boy, surely grew up in less than stellar conditions.
    One more thing Dr. Hart. I get so angry when I read or hear about drug addiction/addicts…it’s always the same line of bull reiterated in the same exact way. “Drug addiction is most assuredly associated with stealing, crime, looking really ugly, being homeless, and being a scumbag.” When I know from 3 decades of personal experience with drugs that this is just not the case….it’s a stereotype. And these people who make all these assertions about drug addiction and drug addicts…where do they get their information? I can tell you this….and I know for a fact this is true…there is not a seasoned drug user in this world who is going to be completely up front and honest about his or her drug use. Why? Because it is illegal and who wants to be labeled a scumbag? Not to mention the fact they do not want to be pressured to get off the drugs. I have used some form of amphetamine on a pretty consistent basis since my late teens. I am now 53. Being raised in a very dysfunctional and abusive family I dealt with severe emotional issues throughout my adult life. I did always work and had relationships and a marriage. I excelled in the jobs I had and was fired from a couple of them….not because I was an irresponsible drug addict who slept in and was always late for work, but because I was driven and didn’t always respond appropriately to my boss. I saw many healthcare providers over the years and was prescribed various anti-depressants, bi-polar medication, benzodiazepines, and others and felt they did nothing to help me…in fact some made me feel much worse. Even in my personal life I tried many other drugs aside from amphetamine, such as cocaine and opitates….I hated both of them. I also don’t like alcohol. After gravitating over and over again to amphetamines, I now see after 3 decades the only thing I’m trying to do is get the appropriate medication for my condition. I guarantee you when I’m in the grocery store, or playing at the park with my grandsons or crocheting in my living room in the evening, the last thing anyone would think is that I am using meth and have been in some form for over 30 years. I just feel normal when I use it. I like to think it makes me feel the way a person who was raised by loving parents they formed a secure attachment with feels. I will never know that feeling without the help of drugs. As you talk about in your interview…it’s brain science. When I have to face the world without medication, it is a scary, uninteresting place to me. It astonishes me that nothing is every written about the benefits of meth or cocaine as a “medication” ….I don’t get how there can be thousands of medications that are legally prescribed everyday, but cocaine, meth have no redeeming qualities at all…that does not make sense. Well, I hope you have an impact trying to change a very stubborn mind set in our culture. If you want to use my story or want more details (like this note wasn’t long enough), feel free to contact me…I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve told you. Cheers!

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