Red States, Meth States
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We have already done an article on the fact that the red states take more federal dollars than the blue states. They are the true welfare queens. But still there is a misguided belief by many on the right that liberal states and people are the “freeloaders”. Well, if that wasn’t enough, we now find that meth usage is more prevalent in the red states.
We hear a lot about the South and Midwest, you know, the part that many Republicans call “the Real America.” It’s “more wholesome”. It’s more “family-oriented”. It’s more “religious”. It’s “more self-sufficient”. Well, those all sound like nice bumper stickers but it is also the epicenter of the American meth epidemic. Stick that on your bumper.
The Meth Epidemic
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, meth is currently at its highest level of availability and purity and its lowest cost. A big reason is because, upon seeing how the red states low their meth, the Mexican cartels have switched from cocaine, heroin, and marijuana to the profitable world of meth. The Cartels are now the main source for meth sold in the United States (obviously taking well-paying meth lab jobs away from hard-working Americans).
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 12.5 million Americans have used meth and the number is skyrocketing all around the South and Midwest. That number continues to grow as they project that the number of people to try meth for the first time is increasing at 62%.
The number of meth addicts checking into rehab is up well over 120% since 1995 and the number of Mexican meth being seized each year is increasing at more than 50%.
Number of Meth Labs
In a study done by the United States Department of Justice, between 57-61% of state and local agencies perceive meth as their biggest threat, well more than cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, or marijuana. That is compared with 0% in the blue New York-New Jersey area, and less than one-percent in the very blue New England area.
The number of meth lab incidents is close to 1,000 per month around the nation, with the largest increases in the South and Midwest. Missouri holds the crown as the meth lab capital of America with a whopping 8,000+ meth labs seized between 2002 and 2004. Meth lab incidents in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are up 254%. Other states with the highest concentration of meth labs include Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, and Kansas.
Tax Money Wasted on Red States’ Little Meth Problem
This is not just a problem of health and drug prevention, this is a problem that costs tax payers a lot of money. Especially considering how much red state governors like to talk about turning down federal taxpayer money, meth abuse costs the tax payer anywhere from $16.2 to $48.3 billion per year. It costs another $500 million on the local level to support community-based drug treatment.
Much like the crack epidemic of the 1980s, the meth epidemic also causes crime to rise. The National Association of Counties recently found that 70% of local law enforcement agencies have seen increases in robberies, assaults, and violence directly attributed to meth. Child welfare workers report a 40% increase in removal of children from their home due directly to meth use.
For all of the talk about how much more wholesome middle-America is compared to “drug-addled inner-cities”, the red states are at the heart of the biggest drug epidemic in the country. So maybe what the righties do is projection?