Paul Costello (left), the medical school’s chief communications officer, moderated the Jan. 19 panel with Nick Reding, author of Methland:
The Death and Life of an American Small Town, and Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Methamphetamine: What makes it the most American of drugs
Stanford Health Policy Forum explores the devastating effect of ‘crank’ addiction on small towns and rural regions in the United States
(Excerpt from article: Stanford School of Medicine)
The drug’s first wide-scale abuse was during World War II when meth was given in pill form to millions of American, German and Japanese service men. Hitler reportedly abused the drug. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that people discovered they could produce it themselves. And the illegal methamphetamine drug business was born.
Today, its main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, can be legally obtained from most cold medicines. And the pharmaceutical companies continue to lobby to keep it that way.
An extremely addictive drug, meth works by flooding the brain with a dopamine high. But, as Humphreys described it, the high is followed by severe depression and lethargy, which sends users back out to use over and over again.
Watch the entire interview on You Tube: