Meth Storm: HBO Documentary Explores Meth Adiction In Rural America
In many ways, the opioid epidemic has overshadowed a very real and systemic problem occurring in rural regions of the nation – methamphetamine addiction. And just like opioids, massive amounts of the drug are still entering the country, and much of it is landing squarely in the Midwest. Meth Storm is a new documentary from HBO that debuts on November 27, that explores this problem.
The documentary was produced and directed by Brent and Craig Renaud and follows local law enforcement and members of a rural Arkansas community for two years. For example, Veronica, a woman who shoots up with her son to welcome him home from jail, is among those profiled in the film. She, Teddy, and another one of her three children all use meth.
The area is trapped in a cycle of abuse that’s made worse due to it’s struggling economy. With few jobs available, many have been forced to deal drugs to support themselves and their habit.
The filmmakers note that the town’s main street was once bustling with business, but the area has now deteriorated, and many of the businesses have shut down. The shortage of jobs spawns feelings of hopelessness in the midst of drugs and poverty.
Johnny Sowell, a DEA agent who leads Operation ICE Storm, admits that arresting and jailing drug dealers won’t curb the problem, and there will soon be more to take their place.
Some recent reports suggest that up to 90% of the methamphetamine used in the U.S. is brought here from Mexico and that the ultra-potent, pure “ice” has now replaced domestically-made meth. In the trailer, an officer notes “Very few people are able to beat that addiction.”
You can watch the HBO trailer for “Meth Storm” here:
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology