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Methamphetamine

  • By: Rocky L. Sexton
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Methamphetamine is a powerful member of the amphetamine class of stimulant drugs. Amphetamines, including methamphetamine, were widely produced as prescription and over-the-counter drugs for a wide range of ailments and conditions by the mid-20th century. Abuse of prescribed and illegally acquired amphetamines led to increasing restrictions on their production and distribution during the mid-to-late 20th century. Illicit production of amphetamines, especially methamphetamine, emerged especially in California and Mexico. Simplified forms of methamphetamine production (“cooking”) have been developed and have spread throughout the west coast, western states, Midwest, and portions of the south in recent decades. Patterns of methamphetamine production, distribution, and use can vary significantly across regions. Methamphetamine production poses various hazards and methamphetamine use results in many health problems. Since the 1980s, various forms ...

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