From the New York Post

When Reding decided to focus on the small town of Oelwein, Iowa, as the nexus of the meth epidemic for his new book, he couldn’t have imagined the nightmares he’d uncover.

A jailed addict rips the veins from his own arm. Children left alone by junkie parents drink their own urine to avoid dehydration. A meth cook blows up his mother’s house and then tries to save her possessions, so incredibly high he’s unaware he’s burned his own face off.

In Oelwein, when Gillette cut one factory’s wages from $18 to $6.20 an hour, depression drove many to the increasingly popular drug, while others saw meth production — so simple it could be done in a soda bottle while riding a bicycle — as the only way to make ends meet.

By 2005, homegrown meth labs were common — from high school locker rooms to retirement homes.

But even more shocking than the ravages of the once legal drug (31 million prescriptions for forms such as Benzedrine were written as recently as 1967) is the neglect of both the government and the pharmaceutical companies to seize opportunities to wipe it out.

Meth is easily cooked thanks to the availability of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in both crystal meth and in Sudafed and other popular cold medicines.

Reding tells how DEA officials have tried for years to put restrictions on pseudoephedrine’s import, but Big Pharma’s powerful lobbyists continually persuade Congress to squelch them. While “Methland” leaves little in the way of optimism, it is a stunning look at a problem that has dire consequences for our country.

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