Study Indicates Higher Meth Use Rates in Dry Counties

addictAccording to a new study, methamphetamine production seems to be more widespread in areas that aren’t allowed to sell alcohol. University of Louisville economists confirmed that dry counties have two more lab seizures per 100,000 residents each year than do wet counties, a finding that leads them to believe there is also more methamphetamine consumption in those areas.

“Local alcohol bans increase the costs of obtaining alcohol, which reduces the relative price of illicit drugs,” Jose Fernandez, Stephan Gohmann and Joshua Pinkston wrote.

Fernandez, Gohmann and Pinkston analyzed data from 2004 to 2010 for Kentucky, where meth-lab seizures are relatively common and laws restrict the sale of alcohol in many local communities.

Their paper, Breaking Bad: Are Meth Labs Justified in Dry Counties?, was presented at the American Economic Association annual meeting in Boston. The researchers presented their conclusions that the results of this research are consistent with the unintended consequences of local alcohol bans predicted by economic theory.

They also presented information showing that restrictions on selling alcohol flatten the punishment gradient encouraging individuals who are willing to obtain alcohol illegally to also obtain illicit drugs.

Previously, a 2005 study found that legal access to alcohol was associated with reduced drug-related crime in Texas. “Apparently, regulations on sinful activities lead to important unintended and possibly counteracting consequences for other deviant behaviors,” Michael Conlin, Stacy Dickert-Conlin and John Pepper wrote in their paper, published by the Journal of Law and Economics.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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