When a town needs prisons to hold up their economy - they also need criminals - addiction is one way to go.
No small town economy and no police budget is worth having that kind of evil going on in the US. As far as the kids I knew a lot of kids whose parents were meth users and if I ever thought a young child would be loyal to their parents and want to stay with them no matter what they taught me different. This bunch - if they trusted someone enough - were ready to take off and leave their parents behind in a second. It takes something so profound to break that bond and addicted parents and their dealers lurking around is one of those things.
One thing about the drug culture is that sex is inherently its' partner. When a dealer has addicts for customers, poor customers, it doesn't take much thought to figure out where that leads. I mean vile inhuman sex/slave/animal/child-rape type situations. People selling their cars.....or their wife, kid, or themselves for the evening. I took a girl to the emergency room who looked like the elephant man after snorting something some guy told her was meth. Her face swelled shut is the only way to describe it. She had 3 beautiful daughters and as soon as she left the hospital she went looking for some meth. That town was surrounded by the Drug War and it squeezed until by the time I came passing through (van broke down) just about everyone I met was either on meth, had been to the prison outside of town because of meth, or their parents did meth, or they were a cop, a prison CO, or had some other job at the prison or they were probation officers, or they were a juvenile on probation because they go caught with meth, etc. Hell the taxes I paid didn't just pay for the prison and police they paid for people's meth use since government bought their food for them and helped them with rent they had cash (or sex or slave labor) to buy meth with.
The economic motive must be addressed regarding the Drug War. I don't know the answer but I do know there can be no profiting from drug addicts - not by the dealers OR the government or all the businesses in the town that cater to the employees of the Drug War.
People used to build factory towns in America and now they use the same model with prison towns via the Drug War. It's disgusting. It's evil.