NEWS

The New Face of Meth in America

By Matthew Harwood

During a hearing on Capitol Hill today, law enforcement officials and drug abuse experts testified on the enduring epidemic of American methamphetamine use and the shift in its production from the United States to abroad.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that has ravaged the United States, especially the heartland and more rural regions. In the state of Montana, 50 percent of inmates and 50 percent of foster-case admissions were attributable to meth.

While the problem used to be a glut of "mom-and-pop" meth labs, it is now the smuggling of meth across borders, primarily from Mexico. There, "superlabs," which produce 10 tons or more of the drug in one production cycle, fill the gap in demand the closure of the mom-and-pop labs left behind.

"[A]n estimated 80 percent of meth consumed in the United States originates in Mexico," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

The United States looks to be a victim of its own success.

The Combat Meth Act of 2005, enacted in March 2006, helped cut the amount of meth lab seizures by 42 percent, showing lawmakers and law enforcement officials that the law was curbing domestic production. The act restricts the sale of chemicals necessary for the production of meth such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine or PSE. Also, pharmacies must now place these ingredients behind their counters while purchasers must show a photo ID and sign a log book to buy these products.

"[T]he Combat Meth Act has become a national standard for the retail availability of methamphetamine precursors," said Peter Wolfgram, a representative of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

But where there's a market, there's a way.

Some domestic cookers of meth now "smurf" to get enough of the precursors to cook up batches of meth. Smurfing is when a person goes from store to store buying up the precursors at, or less than, the legal limit set by the Combat Meth Act.

Because most of the logbooks are paper, law enforcement has trouble reviewing and analyzing them, says Joseph T. Rannazzisi, deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Diversion Control at the DEA.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) aims to close the smurfing loophole by establishing an electronic logbook system that would identify smurfers to law enforcement.

But the real challenge is interdiction of foreign supplies smuggled across national and state boundaries.

One way to reduce the amount of meth in America is to control the drug's precursors internationally. Progress has been encouraging.

Mexico has reevaluated its national needs for PSE and ephedrine and reduced their import quotas accordingly, says Rannazzisi. For 2006, Mexico projects that PSE imports would weigh in at 70 metric tons. This year, Mexico projects PSE imports of 40 metric tons. And in 2008, Mexico has set its PSE import quota at zero.

Both the DEA and the State Department have created a host of multilateral and international programs to target, identify, and seize suspicious shipments of meth precursors. And in March 2006, a U.S. resolution to control precursor chemicals was passed by consensus at the 49th U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS' largest investigatory agency, also plays a role in the interdiction of meth smugglers since the most popular way to smuggle meth into the country is in concealed compartments in passenger vehicles. The two biggest ports of entry for meth is San Diego, California, and Nogales, Arizona. In San Diego alone, ICE seized 2,131 pounds of meth, while the agency confiscated 688 pounds at the Nogales port of entry.

Thomas M. Siebel, chairman and founder of the Meth Project, spoke about combatting meth on the demand side. His organization seeks to reduce first-time meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. In Montana, the organization saturated the marketplace with its prevention campaign, using "Not Even Once" as its core message.

The campaign's results have been inspiring.

Montana, which used to rank fifth in the nation in meth abuse, now ranks 39th. Meth-related crimes have declined by 53 percent and adult use has dropped by as much as 70 percent.

"We believe that the Meth Project results in Montana have been more significant than any drug prevention program in history," said Siebel.

The Meth Project is currently operating in Arizona, Idaho, and Illinois, and is asking Congress for an additional $40 million to extend the project to a total of ten states.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, popularly known as "crystal meth" is a psychostimulant drug. It triggers the release of dopamine in brain. It is found that meth is first introduced at the time of world war II. It's a dreadful drug. In 1983 USA government put some laws to prohibit the use of methamphetamine.
Addiction Treatment Center

Drug Abuse Facts There are

Drug Abuse Facts

There are facts about drug abuse that many people choose to ignore, basically because they either don’t want to acknowledge that they have a problem or their loved one has a problem, or that there are so many so-called “drug abuse facts” out there that they deem more plausible than the actual facts. That being said, we have decided to dedicate an entire section to drug abuse facts – we will rate them as fact, semi-fact, and fallacy for your convenience so that you would be able to sort out what you should and shouldn’t believe about drug abuse.

Drug Abuse Help

reply

This drug is one of the worst things to happen in the 21st century. It’s made out of a/c agents, paint thinner and other unheard of chemicals. It is a man-made destroyer of body, mind and yes the soul.
menopauza

Drugs

From the studies I have read , marijuana is working miracles in terrible diseases like epilepsy and chronic pain , so for medical purposes there should always be a supply for patients , but as for drugs consuming , everyone caught with it should be forced to go into a drug rehab center with a cheap and good program like the one that Drug Rehab Tucson has.

Re:The New Face of Meth in America

Though there is strict laws enforced but still the the smugglers finds a loop hole to get rid off.

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sathyan

illinois drug rehab

No end

With the fact that meth as not only grown in popularity over the past 15 years but is has also grown in availablity. We are not doing nearly enough to get the problem under control. Why are we apending so much money on the 'Drug War' if it is not helping. All we have done is managed to destoy other countries way of living by producing it and then selling it. What are we doing about the people who live in our country that have a meth problem? I think that the less we are aware af what is going on in our country then the more unable we are at being able to help it.



Narconon Vista Bay has provided a great service at helping not only users get off of drugs but educating people on the affects of drugs and how to inform others about them.

There, "superlabs," which

There, "superlabs," which produce 10 tons or more of the drug in one production cycle, fill the gap in demand the closure of the mom-and-pop labs left behind.[A]n estimated 80 percent of meth consumed in the United States originates in Mexico," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.
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terrina
california drug rehab

To reduce this problem the

To reduce this problem the government and the social organizations should take lot of care and the special centers for the drug addict people so that they may leave it come out from the bad habits.
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aslinsibel

Crystal Meth Addiction

Unfortunately, this is true.

Unfortunately, this is true. In my opinion, the best decision they could take is to create more and more centers for a drug rehab program. Maybe this way they will get to give away this 'disease'.

Users are disappearing

I've seen it first hand since the police force has been targeting the meth problem in local cities. Many of the people in the community who used to use meth have stopped and are now working and supporting themselves through legal means. The meth epidemic has pretty much disappeared out of many cities and the community is happier for it.
Narconon

The idea of electronic

The idea of electronic logbook system is very good, in my opinion. But of course, there will be meth consumers that will manage to buy the precursors. The truth is that lately, you can see clearly the result of this Meth Project in Montana and that's a extraordinary. Along with the drug rehab treatment all these problems will disappear sooner or later. We just got to have faith.

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