New Study Debunking Meth 'Epidemic' Credits Willamette Week

june 21, 2006  01:13 pm
Public officials and the media have exaggerated the incidence of methamphetamine abuse in the United States, according to a 41-page report issued last week by the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C. think tank. "The Next Big Thing: Methamphetamine in the United States" (available as a PDF here) references Willamette Week's "Meth Madness," in which reporter Angela Valdez argued that Portland's daily paper had "sacrificed accuracy" in order to campaign against meth. "The Oregonian series repeatedly referred to a 'meth epidemic' in Oregon without providing any statistical support, mischaracterized the significance of the growth in methamphetamine treatment admissions, and suggested a link between Oregon property crime rates and methamphetamine use that has been generally refuted by empirical research," the report says.