I think your magazine has done a real disservice to the readers by suggesting that the dangers of methamphetamine are somehow less than they’ve been told, and of course the obligatory Bush-bashing within makes it even more transparent (Cover, “The Myth of Meth,” Feb. 27-March 5).  

I have been a lifelong resident of Marion County, but two years ago took a job as a probation officer in a rural Indiana county. In my wildest imagination I never imagined what a plague this drug has become. No, in Marion County it has perhaps not “hit home” with you yet, but give it time. For now, cocaine is the coin of the realm in Marion County, this is still common in urban America. In the two years I have been supervising people, I have seen the continued growth of this horrible drug, especially in poor counties that lack the resources to fight it adequately.  

Yes, I have met people who smoked daily for more than three years and you would never know it to look at them. Then again, I have met people who took it up and lost 20 pounds in one month, lost their jobs, lost their kids when they got busted, lost a lot.

Please, if you want to do an actual service for your readers, you might try spending some time with a meth addict who has lost everything they held dear, then warning your readers about it. You might actually save some pain in this world for somebody. You might keep a kid out of the welfare system when his mommy goes to jail.

I don’t expect your writer has much exposure to the typical methamphetamine addict in her usual circles. They generally are poor, poorly educated and live in places you’ve never heard of yet probably aren’t more than 30 minutes away. But they are people worth saving, and so are their families.

James Elsey

Indianapolis

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