ISU Study Examines The Motivations Of Meth Cooks

Ames, Iowa — An Iowa State University study looks at why those who cook meth not only consider it a crime but also — a lucrative job. Lead author Jacob Erickson, in the I-S-U sociology department, says researchers did extensive interviews with more than 30 meth cooks, most of them in halfway houses or assisted living facilities. Erickson says the goal was to learn about meth cooks’ motivations — to help with prevention and rehabilitation efforts.

Erickson says the study offers insight into the world of meth production and an understanding of why cooks chose this lifestyle.

Many of those questioned had held legitimate jobs, but said the lifestyle and mental effects of the drug made it difficult to stay employed. Some admitted making serious mistakes on the job, including car crashes and injuring co-workers. Erickson says cooking meth takes a critical toll on every aspect of a person’s life.

Researchers say many of the former meth cooks were from low-income backgrounds with limited educations, which may have influenced their decision to start using meth. The I-S-U report is being published in the Justice Quarterly journal.

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