Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: meth

July
6th

Immigration, drug cartels and a Lakewood murder

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Still need a reason to look kindly on immigration reform? Would a defeat for Mexican drug cartels do the trick?

Some Americans might still have the perception that Mexico’s depraved drug lords are pretty much preoccupied with fighting each other and their government, with some thuggery spilling over into Arizona and other border states.

If only. Cartel operatives and contractors have thoroughly penetrated the United States, and many of them are Mexican criminals who camouflage themselves as ordinary Mexicans who crossed the border for jobs. The fact that so many of the

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June
16th

Heroin: Unintended consequence of meth, Rx drug crackdown

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Think of a heroin user and what comes to mind? A gaunt addict in some flophouse with a needle hanging out of his arm?

How about an Oscar winner? Or a billionaire’s grandson? Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman just got out of rehab for a heroin addiction, and the heir to financier T. Boone Pickens died of a heroin overdose earlier this year.

Do an Internet news search of “heroin,” and one fact becomes clear: The opiate — which can be smoked, snorted or injected — is making a comeback. In cities across

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Dec.
13th

‘Meth mouth': Not a pretty sight

Today’s editorial on meth addiction was a natural for me to write because of an experience I had about four years ago.

I had just come out of a store in a Lakewood strip mall and had opened my car door to get in, when I heard someone behind me saying something. I turned around and almost gasped out loud.

Standing there was a woman – I can’t even estimate her age – with straggly hair, a face covered with sores and the worst teeth I’ve ever seen. She asked if I could spare some money.

I think I

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Dec.
12th

In concern over pot, don’t forget about meth

The Multnomah County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Department website includes before-and-after photos of meth addicts. The photo at right was taken 2.5 years after the one at left.

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

With their open sores, sunken cheeks, glazed-over eyes and decaying teeth, the faces of meth addicts bear a striking resemblance to ones in a popular TV series – “The Walking Dead.”

Law enforcement agencies and treatment providers want the public to see these zombie-like faces and to understand that the horrible toll meth takes on users doesn’t happen over decades. Before-and-after photos on the Multnomah County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Department and rehabs.com websites chronicle the physical damage meth addiction can cause in a short time, sometimes less than two years.
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Feb.
28th

Tracking system targets meth ‘smurfers’

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Smurfing.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Something you might do on vacation with the kids at a theme park.

But in drug enforcement circles, it’s bad news. Smurfing is what meth cooks do get the ingredients they need for their product. They go from store to store, buying as many boxes as they can of cold medication that contains ephedrine and other meth precursors.

Earlier legislation sponsored by state Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, was instrumental in drastically reducing the number of meth labs in Washington because it put over-the-counter drugs used by cookers behind the counter and limited the amount of these drugs that could be purchased. Still, cookers can get what they need by smurfing because the law only requires that sellers keep a written log.

But more is needed; the paper log is cumbersome for retailers and pharmacists, and it doesn’t provide “real-time” alerts that someone is going around trying to buy excessive amounts of precursors. Read more »