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August 25, 2005



I read an article someplace lately that also said that bike thefts are meth related because taking the bikes apart and putting them together again gives the methheads something to do. Apparently, everything is meth related.


I knew this guy who took some sort of meth-equivalent in order to get all his schoolwork done. He got his work done, but still had many, many hours of wakefullness left. So, he built a tool rack, cleaned and organized all his tools, painted an elaborate watercolor of his roommate represented as a Norse storm god, constructed a time bomb, sealed it in a waterproof container, floated in out into Lake Michigan, climbed on top of a lakefront building, waited for a detonation that never came, climbed back down, and attempted to swim out into the lake (it was November) to defuse the "bomb". Fortunately, at this point, he was restrained by his (storm god) roommate.

The point is, I guess, that people on meth (or meth-like substances) do need something to do. Arrowhead collection may provide such an activity. But here's the thing, just because you collect arrowheads doesn't mean you're on meth. If you are on meth though, you may see collecting arrowheads as an excellent use of your (now abundant) time.

belle waring

yeah, OK, I know that people on meth need to have somthing to do. I used to know this guy who was like the Martha Stewart of meth and had incised a striking interlocking vines design in the plaster of his wall, over a period of 8 months. but that's no reason to hate on the arrowhead-hunting.


Certainly. If you're on meth you can just devote more time to your preferred leisure activity, which will vary with the person not with the drug (some do watercolor and make bombs, while others hunt for arrowheads; if I were on meth I'd probably do something like bake a million cookies.)

I mean, didn't you know that people who smoke pot also do an inordinate amount of cross-stitch?

Matt Weiner

If you're on meth you can just devote more time to your preferred leisure activity


Matt Weiner

Also, "Sheriff Pat Garrett"? WTF?

Kip Manley

Far worse than meth heads with time on their hands:

PORTLAND, Ore. - Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Tuesday signed legislation that will make Oregon the first state to require prescriptions for cold and allergy medications that can be converted into methamphetamine.

It's enough to make you go libertarian, I swear to effin' God.

Gary Farber

It does remind me of the recent claims that all pedophiles are Star Trek fans.

Gary Farber

Oh, and I think I can guess what blogs done on meth might be like, and you'd pretty much have to take meth to get through reading them, I suspect. (Note: I do hate meth, and have never found any speed-type drugs, save caffeine, even remotely, faintly, vaguely, attractive.) Based, that is, on my sole experience with speed about three decades ago, and my smattering experiences in the same time frame with acid cut with something speedy. Bleh.

Tom T.

Jack Shafer of Slate was similarly derisive of such claims about meth-inspired behavior, but an e-mail conversation with a neurologist has caused him to reconsider (sorry, his links aren't active in this quote):

"In my last column, I ridiculed as "stupid" this news story in a Canadian paper about "meth heads" who, according to a police officer, steal bicycles and "sit in the bush with hundreds of parts just fiddling with them all day." Proving that I, too, should search the medical literature before cracking jokes about meth coverage, I received a polite e-mail from Joshua Kershen of the Tufts-New England Medical Center. He informed me of the neurological concept of "punding," the restless and repetitive assembling and disassembling of mechanical devices (watches, carburetors, radios), the obsessive lining-up of small objects, or the picking at one's own skin. The phrase was coined to describe the "prolonged, purposeless, and stereotyped behaviour in chronic amphetamine users," according to this scientific paper (additional punding papers can be found on PubMed). Punding is also observed in people experiencing dopamine excess states, such as when patients are overtreated with Parkinson's disease medication. Because meth, like amphetamine, causes a flood of dopamine, it stands to reason that a meth user would pund."


Matt Weiner

Kip--Mark A.R. Kleiman, who does this for a living--um, I mean, who thinks about drug policy for a living--thinks that's the one semi-promising idea for reducing meth use. So I won't dismiss it out of hand.


As a dedicated non-user of non-alcohol, I've seen a lot of weird drug and subculture correlations. I gotta think some of them have deeper neurological connections.

Also, after long years spent tracking Usenet trolls, I have no problem believing the pedo->Trek correlation. None at all.

John Emerson

"Punding" is apparently a Danish term. The Swedish term for "what hippies do" is "flumming". Perhaps they've developed a whole glossary.

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