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Frontline - The Meth Epidemic
Frontline - The Meth Epidemic
Actors: Will Lyman, Arun Rath, Martin Smith, Peter Haydu, Judy Woodruff
Directors: Brent E. Huffman, Katerina Monemvassitis
Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     1hr 0min

Speed. Meth. Glass. On the street, methamphetamine has many names. What started as a fad among motorcycle gangs in the 1970s has become big business, largely due to the efforts of two Mexican drug runners who began smuggli...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Will Lyman, Arun Rath, Martin Smith, Peter Haydu, Judy Woodruff
Directors: Brent E. Huffman, Katerina Monemvassitis
Creators: Emmett Wilson III, Katerina Monemvassitis, Marsha Bemko
Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/20/2006
Original Release Date: 01/17/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 01/17/1983
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The invasion and devastation of Methamphetamines on American
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Frontline and the Oregonian newspaper helm this documentary and this is symbolic in a way because Portland, Oregon happens to be a city that is totally ravaged by a Methamphetamine epidemic.

This drug is known by many names such as speed, crank, and crystal and it is currently the most notorious and scrutinized controlled substance in America today. Although any illegal drugs are bad across the board, Methamphetamines have an even more sinister reputation for several reasons including its toxicity to the body, the exceedingly high potential for addiction, the many ways it can be used, and the fact that it destroys individuals and families more often than not.

In the 1980's, there was a turning point in the Meth saga as a new and even more insidious type emerged known as `Crystal Methamphetamines'. Here was a substance that could now be made from household products using the key ingredients Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine (the same elements used in cold medicines). This segment of the program shows the struggles between the DEA, the government, and pharmaceutical industries regarding the control and supply of these chemicals. Also looked at are the obstacles, the politics, and a few hard won victories that helped regulate the marketplace for a time.

Upon cracking down on the Methamphetamine problem in America, supply eventually began to come from Mexico in large quantities. Already an established crisis in the western and Midwestern United States, distribution of Methamphetamines to the east coast is now becoming a reality. Mexico is using already established smuggling routes created by Cocaine cartels to funnel the drug into the country.

Although many inroads have been made in an effort to fight this widespread menace, oftentimes it just isn't enough because the difficulties that lie ahead are outpacing the solutions. Just a couple of known facts revealed at the end of this program, among others, are alarming in themselves. According to the United Nations, Methamphetamines today are the most abused hard drug on earth and its rising popularity is creating as many addicts as Cocaine and Heroin users combined. In America alone, there are 1.5 million addicts and this is rising.

`Frontline: The Meth Epidemic' doesn't cover every possible angle regarding this drug crisis and that would be hard to expect from a one hour program. For what it does offer though, it is sobering, informative, and even shocking in some ways. Testimony from police officials, reporters, addicts, victims, and doctors compliment the main body of work here in good fashion. Upon recommending this feature to everyone, I would also like to point out another fine documentary on Methamphetamines which is quite comprehensive in its own right and that is `National Geographic's: The World's Most Dangerous Drug'.
I thought it was very informative
Todd Stanfield | Jackson, TN | 01/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I already knew a great deal about America's meth problem, but his added so much more - particularly the pharmaceutical industry's unwillingness to fully cooperate with the DEA in help reduce the supply-side issue."
One Small Slice of a Large Pie
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 01/13/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Please remember that this is a Frontline episode, not a work from A&E, the History Channel, or most of PBS. Thus, it ran like a news show, rather than a proper documentary.

This work shows meth addicts at the beginning briefly, then it goes into how the DEA is trying to prevent its production and how drug traffickers find loopholes in the strategy. If you want to hear more, you won't.

Oprah's episode on meth was much different than this. Fred Durst sang, "Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'!" and Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite sang, "Keep the host spinnin'! Keep the host spinnin'!" Gay activists have been trying to curb meth abuse in the gay community. However, none of this comes up for Nightline. Nightline just gives you one perspective on this multi-faceted concern."