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Meth Epidemic, The 1x53

FRONTLINE updates the original film with new policy changes in the U.S.

Speed. Meth. Glass. On the street, methamphetamine has many names. What started as a fad among West Coast motorcycle gangs in the 1970s has spread across the United States, and despite lawmakers’ calls for action, the drug is now more potent, and more destructive, than at any time in the past decade. FRONTLINE, in association with The Oregonian, investigates the meth rampage in America: the appalling impact on individuals, families and communities, and the difficulty of controlling an essential ingredient in meth, sold legally in over-the-counter cold remedies.

In this updated film, FRONTLINE continues its investigation, this time focusing on how new policies in the U.S. and Mexico have changed the cooking process in America — from the stockpiling of cold medicines by “super smurfs” to a new and dangerous method of meth-making called “shake and bake.” In addition, after the original broadcast of the film, Oregon passed new legislation to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only. State officials say the measure has all but eradicated meth abuse there. Are other states poised to follow suit?