Spoiler Alert: Meth doesn't cause tooth decay. Even the American Dental Association agrees: "The extensive tooth decay is likely caused by a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological changes resulting in dry mouth and long periods of poor oral hygiene."
Our teeth decay because we don't take care of them--we spin-out for days and don't brush before bed or in the morning because we don't go to bed and there is no morning.
We often smoke heavily, and eat lightly--usually sugary snacks to combat lacking appetite. And the dry-mouth we get from using meth makes matters worse--it tastes like chemical-shit, so our mouths don't exactly water.
But here's the thing--meth users usually know (wrongly) that meth will rot our teeth--we have seen the same Public Service Announcements as everyone else. So we don't take care of ourselves. What does it matter? Our teeth are going to fall out anyway. The lies we have been told about drugs have real consequences if we believe them.
But recognizing that they are lies can sometimes prove even more consequential. If we do not acquire new knowledge to replace the bullshit we have sniffed out, we might come to simply think that all drugs are safe and should be taken casually. This can prove more dangerous than losing our teeth. It can walk some of us into avoidable addictions and preventable diseases, or even death.
Our throwing-out of cultural baggage must be accompanied by an updating of our knowledge about drugs and drug users.
In the early 1900s you could buy cheap heroin, cocaine, morphine and lithium from local pharmacists without a prescription, and throughout that era addicted people were wealthy far more often than they were poor. We may have been characterized as odd or over-medicated--assholes may have called us the town drunk--but we were never criminals. That didn't happen until drugs were outlawed. Now a $1 bag of cocaine costs $100 on the streets, and it is cut with all sots of dangerous shit that ends up in our bodies along with the overpriced drugs.
Before the 1900s, accidental overdose was rare and felonious-addiction was laughable. The Supreme Court even ruled that doctors could give addicted people drugs on a daily basis to keep them from suffering withdrawal symptoms, even if they did so for the rest of their life.
Let's push for a culture like the one that used to exist here. Let's get doctors involved in treating and supplying drug users, and let's start telling the truth about drugs.