The purity of methamphetamine has fallen sharply in the U.S. while its price has increased, reports The Oregonian. That suggests that a crackdown on meth ingredients has dramatically curtailed production of the drug. Meth seized by drug agents in spring 2006 averaged 51 percent pure, down from 77 percent in spring 2005, says to The Oregonian’s analysis of federal data. Prices have more than doubled. A gram of uncut meth cost about $260 this past spring, up from $100 a year before. It was the first significant, sustained decline in purity and increase in price since 1997.
Some treatment providers and meth users in Oregon say people are using meth less frequently and not getting as high when they do. Studies have shown that fewer people use drugs when purity is low and the price is high. Rob Bovett of the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association and a national meth activist said the drop in purity signifies progress against meth producers. “What’s happening is clear as day,” He said. “They’re making less meth.” The setback for the meth trade follows tight restrictions by the United States and Mexico on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, ingredients in cold medicine that are used to make meth.