"Methamphetamine has been around for decades, but the recent surge in clandestine "cooking labs" in homes, hotel rooms, and even cars has made this toxic stimulant exceptionally affordable, accessible, and even more dangerous. With staggering facts, heartbreaking stories, and up-to-the-minute information, award-winning journalist Dirk Johnson provides a harrowing look at the personal, social, and environmental destruction caused by meth use and production. Johnson tells of a young Nebraska couple who died of hypothermia because they were too strung out on meth to tell dispatchers how to locate them, a ten-year-old Indiana girl who was murdered after she accidentally happened upon a meth lab in an apartment building, a meth cook whose friends watched him burn to death rather than report the lab fire to authorities." "Despite such horrors, Johnson offers evidence of hope. He points to promising new national, state, and local efforts to fight meth production and prevent addiction, and he shares the heartening stories of several recovering meth addicts." "Here, at last, is the definitive book on what's fast become the nation's sweeping public health pandemic. Book jacket."--Jacket.