Elko, NV: War on Meth

A series of articles published in the Elko Daily Free Press (the first appears here) exposes the damage that methamphetamine is doing in the area.

The first article in the six-part series by Caley Cook,a reporter for the newspaper, features an interview with a meth addict. It’s a sad story, but hardly an uncommon one, especially here in the western states, where meth is our drug of choice.

The addict, incarcerated in the Elko County Jail, tells how he first started with the drug – at 13 when an older peer lit up on a drive back from work.

“I was all, ‘Hey I can’t have none of that?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, whatever, just don’t tell your parents,’” Corgan said. “I took a hit of it and right then I was hooked. Right that minute. It was over.”

Another user, anonymized for the article, describes meth addiction like this:

“Mentally and emotionally you are dead, even though you appear awake from the outside,” she said. “Using meth puts you in a world where nothing but that matters. Meth is the only thing you think about. There is no other drug like it.”

In this excellent piece of journalism, Cook goes on to lay out the history and current strategy for the local war on meth – interviewing the players, both law enforcement and those who deal in the drug. For many citizens, this is a hidden, slow avalanche of a tragedy, and one it is all too easy to ignore. By exposing the situation, Cook lets us see both the human tragedy and the hope.

Ignoring the problem or shuffling it off on law enforcement and the courts won’t do. We need to confront the damage meth is doing and participate in the solutions. Votes and funding matter. Take some time, read Cook’s series and get educated.

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