Is Meth’s Grip Slipping? The Signs Are Mixed


Federal officials and many states are reporting that the numbers of small “mom-and-pop” methamphetamine labs are dropping, says the Associated Press. The change is largely attributed to the crackdown on the sale of pseudoephedrine and similar cold medicine ingredients used to make meth. Officials feared that Mexican meth would fill the void. Some authorities have noticed an uptick in imported meth; others are hopeful that meth use is starting to wane.

In Minnesota’s Twin Cities, meth-related emergency room visits dropped from 1,402 in 2005 to 251 in 2006. The Montana attorney general said meth-related crime fell 53 percent in 2006, compared with the previous year. In the San Francisco Bay area, meth-related emergency room visits leveled off in 2006, after peaking the previous two years. Yet South Florida has continued to see a steady increase in meth-related deaths, from 77 in 2003 to 115 last year. Quest Diagnostics Inc. – a New Jersey company that maintains a national drug testing index based on millions of tests each year – found that 16 out of every 10,000 drug tests in the general work force came back positive for meth in 2006. That compares with 26 in 2005 and 33 the year before that.


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