Nick Reding describes Oelwein, IA (a rural community about 300 miles from Chicago), a 6000-resident farming town that was a double body blow to their economy with the modernization of agriculture and the rise of methamphetamine production. His book, Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, is a graphic depiction of the devastation methamphetamine causes in a community.
Normally associated with big cities, methamphetamine is described by Nick as a “vocation drug” rather than a “recreation drug.” Methamphetamine is a “blue collar” drug that was first made in Japan in 1898 and had two previous surges in the United States in 1933-1936 and in the 1950s.
Caught up in the madness in Oelwein, IA is comedian Tom Arnold‘s sister, Lori.
Listen to the entire, captivating interview below: