Local officers say since a Texas law went into effect restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine, the number of Meth labs found in Texoma has dropped. Instead of working at least one lab a week, they are working one every few weeks, which is a welcomed change since labs are highly toxic.Instead, though, now a more potent, cheaper Mexican version of meth is flooding Texas' market, causing law enforcement to issue the same, tired, dire predictions we heard just months ago about home meth labs:
[O]fficer John Spragins with the North Texas Drug Task Force says officers are just beginning to confront a new problem.Well, that's an excellent result, isn't it, for a three month old law? More addiction, more overdoses, and more violence! Surely it's now evident that trying to stamp out supply without managing demand cannot solve America's drug problems. State Sen. Craig Estes and his cohorts who passed this ill-conceived law were chasing their own tails. This substitution problem in Northeast Texas and Oklahoma is just a microcosm of the bigger dilemma -- addicted people can always find a way to get high. (At the DPA conference I heard a physician from Mexico City tell how street kids who can't afford pot sniff cheap glue that's far worse for them.)
Meth Ice is a purer form of Methamphetamine and it is popping up weekly. One bust last week netted $88,000 worth of Ice. Spragins says with more people on Ice, he fears we will see more addiction, more overdoses, and more violence.
Drug treatment is the best way to reduce meth addiction, and where Texas counties have put money into the strategy, it's working. More supply-side solutions focusing on punitive approaches aren't really helping anything.