The drug once called speed has come roaring back as a powdery plague on America's heartland. Here, a close look at one place in the grip of...

It's a full-moon Friday night, and Jennifer, 25, a hard-core loker (smoker of methamphetamine, known as crank) has been wide awake around the clock for almost four days. She isn't yet seeing plastic people, shadow men or transparent spiders--just three of the fabled hallucinations of the Billings, Mont., crank scene, a hyperstimulated subculture sickeningly rich in slang and folklore. But she is feeling pangs of remorse about her three-year-old. On Monday, when she left her parents' house, where she has been living since dropping out of college, she promised the daughter she calls "my angel" that Mommy would be right back....

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