Methamphetamine use is increasing nationally, and in Vermont. The majority of the Vermont Legislature have busied themselves waving social justice wands for symbolic display, fashioning a new utopia under the bloated dome — they are not addressing economic decline, skyrocketing food prices, or Vermont’s profound vulnerabilities to spiking inflation (i.e., state pensions). But when it comes to the scourge of methamphetamine and synthetic opioids, the Vermont progressives are a drug dealer’s best friends!
Once dependence forms, changes are made in how the brain functions and to its chemical makeup and circuitry. Compulsive drug-seeking behaviors and a loss of the ability to control how much and how often meth is taken can occur. This inability to control meth use coupled with the changes made in the brain are some of the primary hallmarks of addiction.
Methamphetamine addiction is arguably the most consistently challenging abuse disorder to treat effectively long term — making prevention all the more imperative. Unlike heroin and synthetic opioids, there are no drugs to counteract meth when a person overdoses. It is estimated methamphetamines resulted in more than 100,000 emergency room treatments in 2011. U.S. overdoses overall increased from 70,630 in 2019 to 91,799 in 2020. Overdose deaths from methamphetamine have skyrocketed during COVID: “The number of deaths involving psychostimulants has increased steadily since 2014 regardless of opioid involvement.”
More people now overdose from methamphetamine than from cocaine, heroine, or prescription drugs.
Methamphetamine overdose deaths increased 30% nationally in 2020 and 28.5% through April 2021; the number now exceeds 100,000 annually. The “top 10” states for meth seizures have included nearby New York and Pennsylvania (83 pounds recently), but New Hampshire and Maine feature prominently in the national trade (measured in deaths rather than busts). In 2021,
[Vermont] Health officials said that, throughout the U.S., stimulant drugs are becoming more widespread. They believe meth’s increased presence in Vermont is being driven by a cheaper, purer and more potent variety coming from Mexico. Health officials said fatal overdoses are a problem in southern Vermont every year. This is a trend they partly attribute to the fact that Interstate 91 runs through southeastern Vermont, and is a major trade route in the trafficking of illegal drugs that flow north from Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; and the New York City area.
This nightmare compounds the concurrent epidemic use of heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl (and its numerous analogs) — more and more people are dying of cocktails that now include deadly meth.The federal government reports similar trafficking patterns for both drugs. Pennsylvania and Maine are in the top 10 for fentanyl:
Beginning in 2018, the Department of Justice committed additional resources to prosecute offenders trafficking in synthetic drugs, including the introduction of a new program seeking to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in ten specific high impact areas of the country. As part of the program, Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), the Department of Justice initiated an enforcement surge in these ten federal judicial districts.
Oregon has “led the nation” with legalization of methamphetamine, in a drive “to combat addiction using public health tools instead of incarceration.” Oregon’s 2020 law creates a drug treatment regimen funded by taxation on marijuana sales, a moral conundrum in itself.
By 2019, methamphetamine was the leading cause of overdose death in Oregon, with 78% of Oregonians knowing someone addicted. The state had the second highest rate of meth addiction in the nation, a 400% increase in 11 years. Activists seeking to eliminate criminal penalties for this toxic poison pointed to Portugal — which has borders. Legalizing methamphetamine possession in Oregon attracts people from neighboring states, much like Colorado’s weed frenzy. The result is that millions of dollars of pot money spent in Oregon to cure addiction, plus legalization, has yielded chaos:
The good news, Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Sean Hurst recently told lawmakers, is that the jump in Oregon’s alcohol-related deaths in 2020 flattened in the first half of 2021. The bad news: Drug overdose deaths, particularly those involving fentanyl and methamphetamine, soared to new highs.
The causes of addiction are many, and it is beyond government’s ability to reshape broken humans. But Vermont’s progressive “movement” has already created a perfect environment for increased drug addiction and related crime. Vermont would expunge the criminal records of methamphetamine possession: will it go the Oregon step and legalize the stuff? Progressive policies ardently embrace illegal immigration and open borders: almost all fentanyl now comes from Mexico. Vermont’s progressives favor voting, drivers’ licenses, and health care for illegal immigrants (“undocumented entrants” is the new PC synonym), and a lifting of border COVID restrictions. Much like COVID, opposing unrestricted travel to prevent the spread of the disease of irreversible meth addiction is not racist but regulatory — how is there to be any interdiction of these most dangerous drugs under such conditions?
Vermont’s far-out progressives indoctrinate children with racism, transgenderism, climate-apocalypse, and other unhealthy anxiety saturations that fuel addiction — whether to Twinkies of free suboxone on demand. Labeling police racist who arrest people of color transporting fentanyl or meth from their southern origins undermines effectiveness; decriminalization, reduced probation, restorative justice, and the racialization of drug crimes all create more victims by favoring offenders over public safety. This is out of balance.
In the midst of a declining economy, frightening food inflation, struggling farms, and escalating methamphetamine and fentanyl overdoses, Vermont’s progressive extremists are creating a welcoming invitation for drug traffickers, while rabidly seeking to whittle away Vermonters’ rights to protect themselves with firearms. Everything is upside down — a perfect environment for the wrong kind of commerce.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.