Professor Embeds with JeffCo Meth Users

14 Feb

Update: Another article here.

In this New Republic story from December, the professor, Jason Pine, shares some of his insights:

Cooking meth is a kind of apprenticeship. Recipes circulate among cooks like secrets or rumors. Apprenticeships take place in the woods or in the home, sometimes inter-generationally. There are cases when three generations of a single family have cooked and used together.

How they got into it:

Many of the people I met began meth on the job—concrete work, roofing, trucking, factory work. It’s a way to make the job easier, to work longer hours and make more money. Meth increases dopamine levels in the brain, which can cause people to engage in repetitive (and often meaningless) actions—a behavioral effect that syncs up well with ‘work you gotta turn your mind off for,’ as one cook told me.


Some users will administer it to their children—they’ll blow it into their mouths if they’re smoking it.

How did he gain access to meth cooks?

I worked with cultural “ambassadors” who could communicate to users that I wasn’t out to get them. One bartender was particularly helpful. In a small community, you get connected to people easily.

This 2007 article by Pine goes into some more detail, if you are interested. We hear so much about arrests and lab busts around here, but we don’t really hear much about the actual practice of meth use.


One Response to “Professor Embeds with JeffCo Meth Users”

  1. February 22, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    Professor Embeds with JeffCo Meth Users | Jefferson County Penknife


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: