Meth Addiction and Identity Theft, Just Like Rats and Garbage
> 12/28/2005 3:23:12 PM

We've written a fair amount about drug addiction here at Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments, notably, here, here and here.  But today the AP reported from a new angle on the growing epidemic of meth addiction in this country: identity theft.  Authorities across the country, but especially in the West, have begun to investigate more closely the link between these two previously unconnected crimes.

Methamphetamine is horribly addicting, and as with other strong drug addictions, meth addicts become consumed with the search for monetary means of securing their next fix.  Identity theft has proven a comfortable ally for this newer breed of addict.  Jack Lucky, a prosecutor from California, where both meth and identity theft are huge problems, was quoted in the AP article: "It's been said [identity theft and meth production] go together like rats and garbage."

The stats that the article cites are pretty staggering:
Nearly 10 million Americans fell victim last year to identity theft, costing $5 billion.
An estimated 12 million people have tried meth at least once.
Police Sgt. Anthony Munoz, of Almeda County, California estimated that as many as 85% of the identity theft cases that he has investigated have connection to methamphtamine.

This is just another in a long line of examples of drug addiction necessitating further criminal activity.  Meth addiction, like any other addiction is not conducive to leading a productive and financially fruitful lifestyle.  The difference appears to be that in the case of meth addicts law enforcement officials have run up against a group with greater access to the web and far greater computer savvy than they are used to.  Indeed one of the officers quoted in by the AP, Sgt. Steve Koller of Riverside County, CA, really drove that message home: "We weren't educated or sophisticated enough to spot what they were doing.  It's taken us a while to catch up."  


It's a horrible drug. I've seen people physically decimated by long term use of it.
Posted by: Jon 12/29/2005 4:33:36 AM

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