Crack, Meth & Homelessness

There’s a strong connection between crack cocaine and homelessness in Greensboro. But few people are talking about it. Crack is still an epidemic, more than 20 years after it hit our town. And it won’t be long until methamphetamine (aka “meth”) is the next big thing that sends people to our streets — addicted and homeless.

I spoke with a member of law enforcement who is familiar with our local situation:

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How bad is the meth problem in our area?

“Bad. And getting worse.”

Has meth become a big problem with homeless people on the street?

“No, but it’s coming.”

Are we winning the war on crack?

[Laughs. Loud and hard.] “We’re not even close to touching it.”

How does meth compare to crack?

“Meth is worse. It’s cheaper and more addictive. It’s cheaper because it takes a smaller amount to get high and get addicted. And once you take it, you’re up for two to three days straight… You can do the ‘Nazi method’ and make a batch of meth in your bathroom sink for $30.00.”

How much does crack cost?

“$20.00 for a rock.”

How long does that last?

“Depends on the person. The high lasts 5-30 minutes.”

How do homeless people use crack on the street?

“Mostly smoke it.”

How would they use meth?

“Snort it, smoke it, inject it.”

When do you think meth will become a big problem among homeless people on the street?

“Within five years. There’s probably some now, but I’d say within five years it’ll be widespread.”

What connection is there between gangs and crack and meth?

“As gangs get more organized, the drug problem will get worse.”

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