What Happens When a Mother is Addicted to Meth?

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In the United States, methamphetamine is making a comeback. Following the legalization of medical marijuana in California, Mexican cartels pivoted to the production of pure liquid meth, which is brought across the border and crystallized in conversion labs. There is more meth on the streets than ever before, according to William Ruzzamenti, a 30-year Drug Enforcement Administration veteran and the Executive Director of the Central Valley California HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). It’s also cheaper—the average cost of an ounce of methamphetamine dropped from nearly $968 in 2013 to around $250 in 2016.

“I think a lot of people associate meth with the 1990s, and this comeback has gone largely unnoticed in the shadow of the heroin and opioid epidemics,” Mary Newman, a journalist at the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, told The Atlantic.

Newman’s short documentary focuses on the drug’s frequently overlooked victims: children. Although no scientific research has been conducted that directly correlates meth addiction to child abuse or neglect, many experts on the subject report a connection that Newman describes as “staggering.” Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/568381/motherhood-meth/

“Motherhood and Meth” was directed by Mary Newman. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

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