Crystal Math: The Price of Big Pharma’s Pseudoephedrine Addiction

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NATIONWIDE

$23.4 billion
Estimated cost of meth epidemic, from child protection to law enforcement

$32 million
Cost of injury and death from meth labs

$29 million
Cost of environmental cleanup of meth labs

21,000
Estimated number of children affected by meth labs, 2002-11

4,154
Incarcerations for murder/manslaughter in state prisons attributable to meth

10.6%
Portion of car theft offenses attributable to meth

$605 million
Estimated value of pseudoephedrine sales

25
States that have considered prescription legislation

2
States that have passed it
 

OREGON

96%
Decline in meth lab incidents after prescription legislation took effect in 2006

0
Children removed from houses with active meth labs since law took effect

$580,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2005

$43,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2011
 

MISSISSIPPI

99.5%
Drop in pseudoephedrine sold after prescription law went into effect in 2010

74%
Decline in meth lab incidents

81%
Decline in drug-endangered children

$600,000
Drop in spending on meth lab cleanup costs
 

KENTUCKY

$30 million
Cost of meth labs to the state (including incarceration), 2009

34,496
Number of police hours spent on lab cleanup, 2010

73%
Increase in labs, 2008-09

115%
Increase in crimes associated with meth, 2008-09

25%
Share of hospital burn patients who were injured in meth labs

$229,000
Average hospital cost for meth lab burn victims

$75,000
Average for other burn patients

20%
Death rate among meth lab burn victims

13%
Rate among other burn victims

0-4
Most frequent ages of meth lab victims, 2010

Map of the US

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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