Crystal Math: The Price of Big Pharma’s Pseudoephedrine Addiction

Chalkboard: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Einstein_blackboard.jpg">decltype</a>/Wikimedia Commons; Man is mask: Shutterstock

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NATIONWIDE

$23.4 billion
Estimated cost of meth epidemic, from child protection to law enforcement

$32 million
Cost of injury and death from meth labs

$29 million
Cost of environmental cleanup of meth labs

21,000
Estimated number of children affected by meth labs, 2002-11

4,154
Incarcerations for murder/manslaughter in state prisons attributable to meth

10.6%
Portion of car theft offenses attributable to meth

$605 million
Estimated value of pseudoephedrine sales

25
States that have considered prescription legislation

2
States that have passed it
 

OREGON

96%
Decline in meth lab incidents after prescription legislation took effect in 2006

0
Children removed from houses with active meth labs since law took effect

$580,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2005

$43,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2011
 

MISSISSIPPI

99.5%
Drop in pseudoephedrine sold after prescription law went into effect in 2010

74%
Decline in meth lab incidents

81%
Decline in drug-endangered children

$600,000
Drop in spending on meth lab cleanup costs
 

KENTUCKY

$30 million
Cost of meth labs to the state (including incarceration), 2009

34,496
Number of police hours spent on lab cleanup, 2010

73%
Increase in labs, 2008-09

115%
Increase in crimes associated with meth, 2008-09

25%
Share of hospital burn patients who were injured in meth labs

$229,000
Average hospital cost for meth lab burn victims

$75,000
Average for other burn patients

20%
Death rate among meth lab burn victims

13%
Rate among other burn victims

0-4
Most frequent ages of meth lab victims, 2010

Map of the US

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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