09 - 48 Hours - Season 12 Episode 2 - The Curse of Small Town U.S.A.

Summary: Methamphetamine is a powerful, cheap drug and it is a growing problem in some surprising parts of America. Unlike crack cocaine, which primarily targeted the inner-city during its reign of terror in the 1980's, crank is making it's mark in Small Town, U.S.A. The drug's users range from middle class and well-educated people to teens -- even mothers who have passed on their addictions to their babies. One of the reasons crank is growing so quickly is that methamphetamine is easily produced in makeshift labs from inexpensive raw materials. In addition, users experience a "high" lasting up to 30 hours -- much longer than many other drugs. "Methamphetamine may be the worst drug ever to hit America," says retired General Barry McAffrey, the nation's Drug Czar. "It's expanding in a very bizarre manner. It's all over the Midwest. It's in Idaho, Arizona, Hawaii, San Francisco, Southern California. It's now showing up in Georgia." Crank's explosive growth is being fueled by mass production labs run by Mexican nationals. Authorities say they produce up to 95% of the crank on America's streets. CBS News 48 Hours took a close look at methamphetamine on Thursday, and found a drug that threatens to tear apart the lives of countless Americans. Could your community be at risk?

Aired: 24 Sep 1998

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