THE bucolic highways that connect Montana’s capital, Helena, to the leafy college town of Bozeman are cluttered with billboards that advertise motels (“Stay where the cowboys stay!”), religious hotlines and all-you-can-eat buffets. Then, in front of a cattle ranch, appears a more surprising sign. The red- white-and-blue face of Uncle Sam glares down at drivers next to text that reads, “I want you to end Meth.”
Drug-related deaths outnumber those from car crashes, suicides or firearms. Opioids account for over two-thirds of the total. The alarm over painkillers and heroin is justified, but it has overshadowed another worsening drug problem: methamphetamine.
Bryan Lockerby, who heads Montana’s Division of Criminal Investigation, says he has never seen the state more awash with meth. Infants are being born hooked on it, and the parents of nearly a third of children in Montana’s foster-care system are methamphetamine users. Between 2009 and 2015,…Continue reading