The message of the film is that the Oregon solution to meth addiction is effective because it stops meth manufacturers from acquiring meth’s basic ingredients, although it neglects a comprehensive analysis of the environmental causes of meth and the need for a holistic social solution to the underlying causes of drug addiction.
One of the specific issues that the film presented is the depiction of the effects of meth on users, their families, and their communities, in order for the federal and state governments to acknowledge how seriously socially and economically debilitating the meth epidemic is. First, The Meth Epidemic shows the various physical, mental, and psychological effects of meth on users. Deputy Bret King of the Multnomah County Sheriff took pictures of meth users they book in prison throughout their in-and-out years of incarceration. He notes the evident physical degradation of meth users, from being physically attractive and healthy young people to having missing teeth, skin outbreaks, and aging appearance (Meth Epidemic). Another physical effect of meth is how it changes the brain. Richard Rawson, Ph.D., describes the impact of meth on the human brain: “When you take that drug and you put it in your brain over and over and over again because you like that spike of dopamine, it actually changes how the brain operates” (Meth Epidemic). If meth changes the brain to make users addicted to higher dosage, this makes quitting it harder, but not impossible. Furthermore, meth has the worst effects on families and communities. Communities suffer from high rates of children being placed in foster care, high crime rates from meth users who participate in burglary and violent crimes, and high poverty rate because of loss of productivity and income from meth addiction (Meth Epidemic). Children of meth users suffer the most. The film calls them orphans, even when their meth-addicted