New data suggest that the methamphetamine epidemic is rebounding after several years of decline, says drug policy analyst John Carnevale. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows significant increases in use from 2008 estimates. The number of new users increased substantially as well, and meth and lab seizures are on the rise. Demand and supply data indiate that the meth epidemic may be resurging, particularly in areas long associated with meth problems.
It appears that current laws attempting to restrict access to meth ingredients have only a temporary effect, because meth producers have found ways to circumvent them through smurfing and small scale production. Meth use has quickly rebounded, as have the quantities of meth seized and lab incidents. Requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine may be a step in the right direction, but it is too soon to determine if this is the answer. Carnevale discusses other possible remedies to the meth problem.