"Tweaking and geeking, just having some fun": an analysis of methamphetamine poems.
Methamphetamine (hereafter "MA") is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It is a synthetic drug that is manufactured ("cooked") in settings ranging from large sophisticated labs to small-scale assemblages of equipment that use locally available ingredients. Historically, California was the center of illicit MA production and use (Morgan & Beck 1997). The spread of simple cooking "recipes" has contributed to increasing production and use of MA throughout much of the United States, especially the West, Midwest, and South, over the last ten to fifteen years (Daniulaityte, Carlson & Kenne 2007; MacMaster, Tripp & Argo 2007; Sexton et al. 2006a, b; Anglin et al. 2000; Freese et al. 2000).
MA can be smoked, taken orally, "snorted," or injected. It provides a long-lasting euphoric "high." Beyond the psychoactive effects of the drug, users assert various benefits of MA use, including energy boosts for work, weight loss from decreased appetite, and enhanced sexual endurance and experience (Sexton et al. 2006a; Von Mayrhauser, Brecht & Anglin 2002; Morgan & Beck 1997; Reback 1997).
MA production and use have many adverse behavioral, legal, and health consequences (e.g., Sexton et al. 2009; Sexton et al. 2006a; Thompson et al. 2004; Richards et al. 1999; Anderson & Flynn 1997). However, because of the perceived functional benefits of MA use, and its pleasurable psychoactive effects, users may go long periods before recognizing the problematic nature of using the drug. For example, recent research with three different samples of MA users showed that an average of nine to ten years elapsed between first use of MA and first entry into drug abuse treatment or engagement in other strategies to halt its use (Sexton et al. 2008b; Brecht et al. 2004; Simon et al. 2002).
Because MA cooking and use increasingly go hand-in-hand in many areas (Sexton et al. 2006a), the drug holds special appeal in generating popular discourse about it. MA has been highly stigmatized as a dangerous "hard" drug in various representations of the drug and its users. Visual images of MA cookers and/or users have become increasingly common in films such as Salton Sea, Spun, and Iowa. MA cookers and users have featured prominently in episodes of television series like CSI Miami, The Riches, and Breaking Bad. In fact, MA has become the focus of televised anti-drug public service announcements such as those developed by the Montana Methamphetamine Project, which are now used in several other states. Visual portrayals of MA users generally serve as cautionary tales by emphasizing extremes in behavior and physical appearance by MA users and negative, often horrific, outcomes associated with the drug and its production (Erceg-Hurn 2008).
MA cooking and use have also been the theme of several commercially recorded songs. "Methamphetamine" recorded by the Old Crow Medicine Show (2008) provides a cautionary tale of lost jobs, homelessness, and deterioration of social relations through involvement with MA. In a Son Volt recording (2007) also called "Methamphetamine," the singer recalls better days of the past, lamenting, "Blissful days still there to remember, methamphetamine was the final straw." Mark Lanegan's "Methamphetamine Blues" (2004) offers more subtle commentary in lines such as "Rolling [using MA] just to keep rolling" and "I don't want to leave this heaven [MA high] so soon," but while also noting ominously, "Do risks for your daddy" and "Tall lawman rides."
A broader MA-oriented popular discourse exists beyond those forms manipulated for commercial entertainment and public service announcements. It is now common to see MA-themed poetry circulated through email by those wishing to share recovery experiences. These works are also found on Internet sites devoted to combating MA addiction such as the Meth Addiction Recovery page. The site, CrystalRecovery.Com has an index of poems with revealing titles such as, "Until Death Do Us Part," "You're Going to Jail," and "Tweaking Our Way to Doom." The content of these poems speaks regretfully of the negative personal experiences of those who succumbed to MA addiction and sometimes involvement in producing the drug. In some instances, these poems represent catharsis for those who have recovered from MA addiction. In other cases, the poems represent ongoing efforts to fight their addiction, albeit often with minimal optimism for long-term success. For example, "A Meth Cooker's Poem" describes a progression where the narrator begins to use MA and then turns to cooking and selling it. He/she is arrested, given a harsh prison sentence, and his or her life is reduced to shambles. But the poem ends with the statement, "I think that I'll get out and cook just one last time" (Anonymous 2009).
Scholarly discussions of drug-themed poetry and other oral narratives often focus on their therapeutic value. Reading and discussion of poetry has been introduced into drug addiction treatment sessions, along with encouraging clients to express their thoughts through writing poems (Gillispie 2001; Alschuler 2000; Howard 1997). One recent article reported on the Voice project, where women with a history of substance abuse and addiction produced art, poetry, and other prose. These creative works explored women's understanding of harm reduction and challenged the stigmatization of women with substance abuse issues (Paivinen & Bade 2008).
Beyond the value of analyzing oral narratives of recovery, insights may be gained by analyzing such discourse associated with active drug users. For example, Carlson (1991) recorded folk terminology used by heroin and cocaine injectors. He noted that analysis of the terms provided insight into beliefs and behaviors among drug users, including gender hierarchy and HIV/AIDS risk. MacLean (2008) studied oral narratives of inhalant "sniffers" to provide insight into how users of a highly stigmatized substance perceive the benefits and dangers of use. As it relates to poetry, Agar (1971) described African-American heroin "junkie toasts," one of which glorified the "high life" of a heroin user, while another poem reflected disenchantment and regret over the deteriorating life of a junkie.
During ethnographic research on rural stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) use in western Kentucky, two MA-themed poems were recorded from active MA users. Rather than commenting regretfully on an MA-using lifestyle and the adverse health and legal consequences of MA use, these narratives reflect ironically and sometimes humorously on misadventures that occurred during a particular pattern of MA use. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to analyze the poem texts to provide insights into patterns of MA use, terminology associated with the drug, and the attitudes of active MA users. Suggestions are then offered for further research on the subject.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Qualitative interviews were conducted with a subsample of participants in a longitudinal study of rural illicit stimulants (cocaine and methamphetamine) use, adverse consequences of use, and interaction with health services in three counties in western Kentucky and three counties in eastern Arkansas (e.g., Booth et al. 2006). The overall study included 452 participants recruited through respondent driven sampling, a modified form of snowball sampling. Quantitative interviews were conducted at six month intervals over a three-year period. Thirty-nine baseline qualitative interviews were conducted with participants who described MA as their primary stimulant used. Twenty-three follow-up interviews were conducted up to two years after the baseline interview. The 60- to 90-minute interviews explored MA use, associated patterns of behavior, and adverse consequences of use of the drug. All interviews occurred in project offices after participants signed an informed consent form approved by the participating universities. Participants were compensated $20 for their time.
The interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to various themes. The meanings of MA-related themes and terminology in the poems were interpreted from interview data provided by Cletus and other study participants, as well as several glossaries of drug terminology (Addictions & Life Organization 2010; Ryan 2010; Stop Meth Addiction 2010; Office of National Drug Control Policy 2009; Amera-Chem Inc 2008; see also Urbandictionary.com).
CLETUS AND MA POEMS
During a 2004 baseline qualitative interview in Kentucky, "Cletus," (a 25-year old White male) volunteered the information that there were MA-themed poems circulating among active MA users. He said, "I don't know if a whole lotta people know, but they've [some MA users] even gone so far as making a rhyme[s], you know. If you've ever heard that, you know, kind of a storyline behind doing the meth." Cletus had participated in the development of poems and could recite significant portions of one, but not the entire text. He agreed to collect some complete poem texts from fellow MA users and when he returned for a follow-up interview the writings were recorded and discussed.
Cletus stated that such poems are often developed during extended episodes of MA use. The basic storyline according to Cletus is, "It [They] takes you through a night, couple series of nights spent on the meth, crank, fire, thunder, shit, whatever you want to call it." This comment reflects one form of MA use pattern--the "binge." The psychoactive effects of a moderate amount of MA, such as one-eighth of a gram, can last up to 12 hours (King & Ellinwood 1992) In addition to a euphoric high, MA results in sleeplessness. Binges can occur as users take additional doses of the drug over the course of several days to revisit the initial "rush" of the onset of MA's effects, or at least to delay the inevitable crash that occurs after a long period of continual use (Sexton et al. 2006b; Simon et al. 2002). These binges can involve individuals, couples, or larger groups.
As Cletus noted, creation of the poems is often a dynamic process where a composite is developed based on different peoples' experience. He said that some poems:
Has [Have] been passed on and passed on ... some people'll add to it, they'll modify it. But with everyone of 'em you'll find somebody's got their story, their saga throughout the night that they wrote [about] ... Someone's been up for eight, nine, ten days just writing ... come back like four hours later [during a use episode], they're still sitting there ... before you know it, they've told their story.
In some instances, developing a poem evolves as a group effort in a single setting. Cletus said:
After about six hours of being on the meth with a few people around, everybody's trying to rhyme something and the whole room's full of it, and then you have certain people stop and go on to something else, but then there'll always be one or two people over there writing it all down.
Cletus asserted a functional component to these oral narratives within the context of binges. He stated:
It just seems like, if you got a real good hobby or something like put model cars together or play music and you might go off to doing that, but some people that don't really have much of a hobby or just enjoy writing, they get everybody else into [creating poems] anyway, and there's always a crowd always gonna be doing it, especially when you get to the point where nobody's talking anymore, everybody's just kinda spaced out. Need something to keep their sanity going.
Cletus produced two poems, but acknowledged that there were others. As one example of other such oral narratives, he noted "Now that one there I asked a boy about it, and he said that wasn't a song, that was his recipe. So that one he asked me not to bring back." Specifically, the person had developed a song/poem based on his personal "recipe" for cooking MA, but did not wish to share it with an outsider. The two poems provided by Cletus are presented below.
Poem One: The End of the Road
1. The end of the road is finally near.
2. How did it all start? I'm not quite clear.
3. Did I call my friends or did they call me?
4. Did I have to pay money or did I get it for free?
5. I think it was Sunday we started our buzz.
6. A big fat fifty for me and my Cuz.
7. He [cook/dealer] said it was awesome, he called it "the fire."
8. I know this guy well and he is no liar.
9. A brand new Bic lighter is a useful tool.
10. A straw or a pen and, of course, aluminum foil.
11. I mold my foil, it's now called a boat.
12. I hold it real steady as I pour on the dope.
13. The foil now heated from my brand new Bic.
14. I heat it real slow, not to burn it too quick.
15. The dope is now melting, it's a beautiful sight.
16. With the straw in my mouth to catch the smoke just right.
17. Holding the boat steady at just the right slant.
18. I hit it real hard, now hear comes the pant.
19. Now exhaling the smoke, I can't help but smile.
20. I haven't seen dope this good in a really long while.
21. My Cuz is now ready for it is her turn.
22. She's impressed by the taste and the way that it burns.
23. The dope is awesome, we like it that way.
24. That's how we started on our endless day.
25. Wound for sound and spun to the gun.
26. We're tweaking and geeking, just having some fun.
27. Before we know it five days have gone by.
28. We're both still awake, but we have bugged out eyes.
29. Our bodies need rest, now we're moving real slow.
30. I'm seeing weird shit as my mind starts to go.
31. A rational thought, I haven't had in a while.
32. My jaws are locked and I can't even smile.
33. We do more and more as we try to maintain.
34. We think we're okay, but we're acting insane.
35. We're both spaced out in our own little world.
36. Until we hear talking, it's the voice of a girl.
37. Both of us freeze, careful not to make a sound.
38. Now I hear footsteps and the loading of rounds.
39. I know it's the law, so why even look.
40. They think we're dealers or maybe the cook.
41. Now we're low crawling 'cross the living room floor.
42. Just past the couch and then out the back door.
43. We sling open the door and we make our move.
44. We can't look back, we got too much to lose.
45. Straight to the bushes as fast as we can.
46. We lie there and hide and think of a plan.
47. We're safe at the bushes, but we cannot speak.
48. 'Cause we're both out of breath and our knees are all weak.
49. We know not to move, not even a muscle.
50. 'Cause the grass and the twigs make a distinctive rustle.
51. The morning sun now pierces our eyes.
52. The Feds didn't find us, I was surprised.
53. How did we do it? Surely they had to see.
54. Right by the bushes was my cousin and me.
55. We can't see a cop, not a single blue light.
56. That doesn't make sense, 'cause we both heard them last night.
57. The cops didn't see us, now that doesn't add up.
58. Then I remembered I never looked up.
59. We never took time to check out that sound.
60. We each flipped out and just hit the ground.
61. We spent too many days without any sleep.
62. Doing too much dope and we needed to eat.
63. The two of us then had to call it quits [from that particular binge].
64. For another true story of smoking the shit.
Poem Two: Tweaking and Geeking
1. It's three in the morning and I ain't been to bed.
2. 'Cause I thought I'd stay up and get high instead.
3. The last of my reefer all dashed up with crank.
4. Wrapped in a Zig Zag, it's now my new dank.
5. All to myself, I smoke it with pride.
6. 'Cause the gelcap I ate has started my ride.
7. Slowly but surely, my mouth's been going dry.
8. If I don't drink something, I feel I might die.
9. I reach for my drink, a cold Mountain Dew.
10. I chugged it right down, now I feel I may spew.
11. I'm acking and gacking, like I've done too much dope.
12. I forgot that earlier I placed filters in it to soak.
13. The filters alone was already enough.
14. But I had to add a gram to make it real tough.
15. This spiced up soda that I drank in record time.
16. Was meant to be babied and sipped at like wine.
17. That Mountain Dew was specifically made, to keep three people up for at least five freakin' days.
18. Five whole days of being awake.
19. I've done more than nine so this will be cake.
20. Five days worth of geeking is all you really need.
21. But I've took enough for a party of three.
22. I head to the door 'cause I feel I can't breathe.
23. I open it up and spot a guy in my tree.
24. I glance around trying not to stare.
25. There's two more in my bushes, what are they doing out there?
26. I shut my door, now filled with fright.
27. Is it the Feds or thieves in the night?
28. I know it's the Feds with their high-priced toys.
29. Their listening devices to hear the slightest of noise.
30. They can see me even in the dark.
31. And I had night vision to, but I tweaked them apart.
32. I hide 'til morning, I can finally see.
33. The Feds are all gone, even the guy in my tree.
34. Was it the Feds looking for me, or was it the dope and the drink made for three.
35. That magic Mountain Dew kept me flying all night.
36. I think I'll make another, this time using Sprite.
At the beginning of the first poem, reference to the end of the road being near reflects that the MA binge is winding down. The next several lines ponder the origin of the binge and comment on the high quality (i.e. "the fire") of the MA that started it. The question of whether the drug was purchased or free reflects attitudes toward MA use and variation within local MA production and distribution systems. In some instances the drug is imported or locally produced and sold as a retail product for individual use. However, MA use is often a group activity. As Cletus stated, "Meth is one of those drugs that everybody wants to show up when they know you got it, just hang around." In many instances, those who produce the drug will share it with friends, family, and acquaintances within local social networks, often within group use settings. For instance, another Kentucky study participant noted, "We had this one guy [cooker]. He only comes around if he wants to 'burn some foil' with us,'" in other words, share and smoke MA. Another Kentucky participant, a former MA cooker, noted that during his cooking career he gave away more MA than he sold.
The meaning of "a big fat fifty" can vary. At the time of the interview, fifty dollars would buy at least a half-gram of MA or even an entire gram, if the purchaser was well connected with an MA cooker and/or dealer. In fact, in the initial interview, Cletus said that he had paid only $75.00 for 1.5 grams of MA just a few days before. Even one-half of a gram would be enough for two people for at least 24 hours. Cletus stated that his first MA use had involved splitting the cost of a gram of MA with a friend. He recalled, 'The first gram I [we] ever did lasted probably about three days. We kept it in the same bag. We'd cut out a line and we'd snort it, and then we'd just run with it" [continue taking small portions of the drug at intervals].
Lines nine through 22 describe the process of "smoking" MA, the most popular local form of taking the drug. In actuality, a small portion of the drug, generally in powder form, is placed into a concave-shaped piece of aluminum foil referred to as a "boat." The flame from the bic lighter is applied to the underside of the boat, which melts and vaporizes the drug. The resulting smoke is inhaled orally through a straw or the tube portion of an ink pen.
Line 24 indicates that the initial smoking episode was just the beginning of the binge. "Wound for sound and spun to the gun" are two of many terms that indicate being heavily under the influence of MA. In fact, the term "spun" is used in the title of a film which was devoted to heavy MA use. The reference to "locked" jaws in line 32 refers to parafunctional jaw activity and bruxism linked to the high levels of neuromuscular activity that are sometimes induced during extended periods of MA use (Hamamoto & Rhodus 2009). That is, MA users may compulsively clench their jaws and grind their teeth during binges.
Doing "more and more" to "maintain" refers to the previously discussed pattern of taking additional doses of MA, in this instance to avoid the "crash" that will occur when the stimulating effects of earlier doses wear off after going days without sleep. Reference to "tweaking and geeking" relates to behaviors that unfold over the next five days. The two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably or together in referencing irrational behavior that may occur during binges. Tweaking specifically refers to stereotypy, which is compulsive, repetitive behavior such as repeatedly disassembling and reassembling (often unsuccessfully) electronic or mechanical equipment (Amera-Chem Inc 2008). For example, Cletus stated, "Some people might start [thinking], 'This here don't sound quite right,' and the next thing you know, you've torn [tweaked] your radio apart, to fix something." This behavior may occur while an individual is in his or her "own little world" after being under the influence of MA for an extended period.
Geeking can refer to behaviors such as intense cravings for MA, but more often it indicates visual and auditory hallucinations and paranoia that occur from sleep deprivation. This theme is described in the remainder of the poem in which the participants experience auditory hallucinations ("the voice of a girl") which in their paranoid state leads them to the conclusion that they are being approached by the police in search of MA producers ("the cook") and/or dealers. Aggressive anti-MA law enforcement campaigns in the form of harsh legislation and the organization of local, state, and federal task forces to combat MA represent serious threats to illicit MA cookers and users (Sexton et al. 2008a). Not surprisingly, the geeking condition can bring some users to view the police, whether they be local "cops" or the "Feds," as the ultimate nightmare. As Cletus rationalized, "Meth is a big thing they're out to get, and it's not like with weed [marijuana]. You get caught with it [marijuana], you got so many ounces before it's a felony. With meth, you know, it's right off the get go, bam! They find a bag of the residue, they got you [for a felony charge]."
The second poem, "Tweaking and Geeking," also refers to misadventures during MA binge use, but provides diverse insight into the ways that MA can be administered as well. Lines three through five indicate one aspect of how the binge started. A reefer "dashed up" with crank indicates marijuana laced with MA and wrapped up into a "Zig Zag" (joint). Zig Zag is the brand name for paper used to make hand rolled cigarettes, but which has come to be used to "roll" marijuana joints as well, hence its use as a synonym for "joint." New "dank" here represents a potent new form of marijuana joint, since dank is commonly used to reference powerful marijuana. The poem then revisits the beginning of the binge when the writer took MA orally in a gel-cap. This represents a form of administering the drug in which a gel-cap or capsule of over the counter medicine is emptied and replaced with MA so that it can be carried and swallowed like a pill.
Line seven marks the beginning of misadventure when the author accidentally "chugs" a large amount of MA-laced Mountain Dew soda. This line sheds light on use patterns linked to local MA production. In one of the final stages of cooking, MA in liquid form is strained, often through a coffee filter, to remove impurities, which can leave significant residual amounts of MA concentrated in the filter. MA users will sometimes soak the filters in soda or water, then drink the resulting solution. However, the author notes that the potency of the solution was greatly increased by adding an entire gram of MA. So, the Mountain Dew is sufficient, in and of itself, to fuel a small group binge. There is a broader logic to using MA in this manner. As Cletus noted, "Throwing it [MA] in a 20 ounce bottle of Coca Cola, walking down the street [sipping the soda]. People do it that way, and there's no [drug] paraphernalia and who would know?"
The use of "acking and gacking" is interesting. In broader drug use slang, "gack" can refer to MA, while "gacked" indicates being heavily under the influence of MA. Gack(ing) can also describe the burning sensation in the nasal passages and back of the throat from snorting MA. In the context of this poem, "acking" is added to facilitate the rhyme. So, the phrase can carry dual meaning by describing the sensation that would accompany the unexpected chugging of a large amount of very potent MA-laced soda, as well as referencing the high resulting from taking too much MA too quickly.
Despite his accidental consumption of a very large amount of MA too quickly, the narrator expresses optimism that he can, yet again, handle the multiday effects of the drug. The poem then visits the familiar terrain of ensuing tweaking and geeking behavior, with visual hallucinations of the Feds with hi-tech surveillance equipment as the source of fear. The writer makes the comically ironic statement that he also had hi-tech night vision equipment, but that his was rendered useless earlier in the binge when he "tweaked them apart." As with "The End of the Road", the end of "Tweaking and Geeking" finds the writer coming to the realization that his fears were unfounded after several hours of hiding. The poem closes optimistically by expressing the desire to have more MA-laced soda and continue the binge.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
The two MA poems differ from other forms of MA-themed oral narratives, especially poems produced by recovering MA users and those MA users who feel trapped in an MA-using lifestyle. Unlike other general discourses about MA, these poems do not serve as cautionary tales or as therapeutic devices for those who wish to stop using MA. Rather, these two poems reflect humorously and ironically on misadventures associated with use of the drug in much the same way that the Cheech and Chong movies of the 1970s and 1980s provided comic images of not only marijuana but also stigmatized "hard" substances such as LSD and cocaine.
The reasons why these MA poems differ may be due to the mindset of active users who do not feel trapped in a drug-using lifestyle when compared to those who have halted MA use or who wish to do so. For example, at the time of the first interview with Cletus, he had been using MA for about eight years and had not yet experienced any significant legal or health problems from using MA. He had no desire to halt MA use. A recent study has suggested that other highly stigmatized substance use practices such as "sniffing" gasoline, glue, and aerosol spray are viewed by many users as pleasurable behaviors rather than acts of desperation that the users feel trapped in (MacLean 2008). While acknowledging the health risks of sniffing, they also note that the risk enhances the experience and voice their positive narratives. A similar philosophy can be found in one of the junkie toasts discussed by Agar (1971), although that poem more overtly glamorized the life of a heroin user compared to the two MA poems. However, MA use is viewed as both functional and pleasurable by many active users despite its stigmatization in broader discourse. Some MA users tend to be optimistic about MA use as a risky but fun practice, at least when developing poems meant to be heard by other users. So, they cast misadventures in a comic rather than a tragic light and thus perhaps downplay adverse consequences such as extremes in tweaking and geeking behavior.
These poems also provide valuable insights into MA use patters and popular modes of use among active users, for example, "smoking" MA, drinking it, or taking MA in makeshift pills. Mention of filters link one poem to local MA production, which was the source of much of the drug in rural western Kentucky at the time of the interviews (see, for example, Sexton et al. 2006a, b).
In commenting on MA-use misadventures, the poems articulate one form of MA use pattern, the binge, which unfolds over an extended period of up to several days as a result of a large dose, or numerous smaller doses, of the drug. However, these two poems are oriented to unusual extremes in tweaking and geeking behavior that involves MA users crawling and hiding from imagined threats, since such episodes are portrayed as being memorable enough to be captured in verse.
These poems also provide insights into the dynamics of the terminology associated with MA use. Terms like "the fire," "spun," "tweaking," "geeking," "shit," "crank," "gacking," and "cook" are commonly associated with MA throughout the U.S., albeit with some variations in their specific meanings. In addition, terms like "the fire," "shit," "spun," "gacking," and "geeking" are not unique to MA use, but rather they represent how overlap or borrowing from terminology associated with other drugs like cocaine can occur (Carlson & Siegal 1991). However, the term "acking" in conjunction with "gacking" seems to represent an original concept. It also is interesting to note how an innocuous term such as "filters" can come to have hidden meanings to MA users.
Others terms in the poems indicate creativity in manipulating other drug-related terms and their meanings. For example, "dank" and "Zig Zag" usually refer to powerful marijuana or a potent marijuana joint. Only one drug terminology glossary describes dank as a mixture of marijuana and another substance, in that instance formaldehyde (Ryan 2009). However, in "Tweaking and Geeking," the author speaks of creating a new more potent joint by mixing marijuana and MA. Lacing marijuana with MA was not mentioned by other study participants. Since the interviews with Cletus, there have been news releases and media stories referencing this practice as a growing legal and health concern (See, for example, Drug Rehab Helpline 2008; Colebourn 2006). However, others have described mixing marijuana with MA as a rarity that has been overdramatized since discussions of the practice are generally based on secondary "word from the street" rather than multiple confirmed cases (Bill 2006).
This brief study is limited in scope and is exploratory since the discovery of these oral narratives were unanticipated finding and only two poems were collected. Consequently, these findings should be viewed with caution as preliminary observations and interpretations. However, they can shed light on aspects of MA use and help to generate additional research questions related to the behaviors and vocabulary of active MA users. For example, how common are these types of poems across the United States? To what extent do they reflect local nuances in MA-related terminology and use patterns, or do they rather represent a broader shared popular discourse among MA users? Lastly, how may the poems shape the attitudes and beliefs of MA users at various points in their substance use careers, such as serving to downplay adverse consequences of MA use and inhibiting problem recognition among active users?
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([dagger]) This research was supported by a National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant for the Study "Rural Stimulant Use and Mental Health: Services and Outcomes," grant number 1R01DA15363, Brenda M. Booth, Principal Investigator, Carl Leukefeld, Co-Principal Investigator. The authors are grateful to Lawrence Hammar for his comments on an earlier draft of this article. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or any other governing agency.
Rocky L. Sexton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH.
Robert G. Carlson, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH.
Carl G. Leukefeld, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Behavioral Science, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Brenda M. Booth, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.
Please address correspondence and reprint requests to Rocky Sexton, Department of Anthropology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306. Phone; 937-238-9536; fax: email: Rsexton@Bsu.Edu.