Methamphetamine: the quintessential American drug. American housewives, heads of state, businessmen and poets alike have acquired a taste for the yellow, crystalline powder. Everyone from Hitler to President Kennedy to Elvis to Jack Kerouac indulged in one of its many forms, and its presence has been an invisible hand shaping events, preparing the ground for the strangest drug epidemic the world has ever seen. Today methamphetamine is everywhere, and there seems to be no way of stemming its growth.
It is the backbone of Ritalin and the 'club drugs" Ecstasy, Eve and Cat. According to the DEA statistics, approximately four percent of all Americans have used clandestinely manufactured methamphetamine. In the 1960s and 1970s millions of mainstream Americans used and abused prescription amphetamines; today, anyone with a stovetop, a beaker, and a little know-how can make its derivative, methamphetamine, with chemicals purchased at the hardware store and pharmacy down the street.
American Meth is the unprecedented story of a molecule in all of its incarnations, and the deep but little-known impact it has had on American life over the course of the last century. Told from the viewpoint of author Sterling Braswell, whose life has been touched by the drug, American Meth is a deeply personal drama that illuminates the epidemic we live with today.