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Amphetamines are nothing new

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Regarding methamphetamine use in the oil patch, this is not a new issue (HCN, 10/3/05: Methamphetamine fuels the West's oil and gas boom). "White crosses" and other stimulants were easy to obtain in Gillette, Wyo., in 1974, when I was working as a roughneck in the Powder River Basin. Drill rigs go 24-7, and graveyard was a tough shift. We all stayed alert using those drugs, but we were careful and very focused on the job — it was too dangerous not to be.

I’d also like to note that my late father, S.K. Felton, was a pilot and flew B-29 bombers in WW II and cargo planes in Korea. In both wars, pilots and crew were given amphetamines by their commanding officers.

Like all drugs, when used correctly they serve a valuable purpose. I don’t know what it’s like now, 30 years later, in the oil patch, but in the mid-’70s, most everyone used, but no one abused on the job.

Sam Felton
Tucson, Arizona

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