Main Article Content
Ranking third behind California and Missouri on the total number of clandestine laboratories seized by law enforcement officers, Oklahoma has the highest number of illegal methamphetamine laboratories per capita in the United States. This paper examines the deep social impact of the recent outbreak of clandestine laboratories in Oklahoma and the corresponding rise in methamphetamine abuse. Because methamphetamine genetically restructures the human brain, neurophysiological morbidity associated with chronic abuse reveals damage to the limbic system, which, in turn, is associated with correlative behavioral problems in abusers that has been characterized as clinically indistinguishable from paranoid-schizophrenia. A useful way of describing how these structural and functional changes in the brain (as a dynamic system) can have overarching effects, both in the individual and society, is the form of analysis known as 'chaos theory'. From this perspective, the behavioral changes are analogous to 'strange attractors' of a chaos theory model, which vividly illustrates the overall impact of methamphetamine abuse on both the individual's quality of life and the lasting effect on the social world.