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Unintended consequences – drugs in Bakken

Many years ago, when I was in college, one of my classmates spent a summer working in the oil fields in Froid, Montana. He came back as a different person, a little rougher around the edges, drinking more. But as time passed, the changes wore off, and last I heard he was a high school science teacher in New Jersey.

Well, the oil fields are still active in that part of the country, and they are booming. Jim Ulvog has done a good job of covering the economic effects of the Bakken oil field – here’s a recent post.

But while boom towns certainly have positive economic effects, the circumstances of a boom town – mostly single men, working hard, with a lot of money – lead to some negative effects. Previously, the issue was an increase in reported sex crimes. But now other effects are being seen. As a Billings newspaper noted:

Six people out of a dozen facing federal charges of trafficking methamphetamine in the Bakken oil field along the Montana and North Dakota border are residents of small Montana towns.

So we’ve had sex, and then drugs – is rock and roll next?

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