In the latest issue of the Rural Sociological Society's publication, "Rural Realities," Joseph F. Donnermeyer and Ken Tunnell explore how methamphetamine production shifted from its beginnings in large-scale labs on the West Coast to smaller, mobile labs in rural areas. The article, called "In Our Own Backyard: Methamphetamine Manufacturing, Trafficking and Abuse in Rural America," explains that with the shift, new users in rural America tried and grew addicted to the drug.
They find that meth production and abuse both hurt rural communities' people and land. Meth addiction adds to poor health, and increases the risk for violent crime. Adding to the problem is that rural areas lack adequate health care facilities and professionals to treat addicts. The production of one pound of meth also generates five pounds of toxic waste, so meth labs bring contaminants into rural areas. To address the situation, Donnemeyer and Tunnell advocate the use of drug courts, which emphasize treatment, and say that rural residents need to learn how to identify a mobile meth lab. To read the full article, go here.