AP IMPACT: Meth Fills Hospitals With Burn Patients


Salon Staff
January 23, 2012 1:27PM (UTC)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A crude new method of making methamphetamine poses a risk even to Americans who never get anywhere near the drug: It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment — a burden so costly that it's contributing to the closure of some burn units.

So-called shake-and-bake meth is produced by combining unstable ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle. The slightest error can cause an explosion resulting in disfigurement, blindness, even death.

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An Associated Press survey of key hospitals in the nation's most active meth states showed that up to a third of patients in some burn units were hurt while making meth, and most were uninsured. One study found that the average meth patient runs up medical bills of $130,000.


Salon Staff

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