Why Should We Be Concerned


Meth use has a severe and costly impact on human health, the environment, and rates of crime in communities. It also costs human lives. Communities suffer when the drug devastates the lives of individuals who use it. Anyone can become addicted, regardless of their profession, race, gender, or socioeconomic class. Straight-A students will steal from their parents to get meth. Children who live in households where meth is used are often endangered, hungry, and neglected.

Meth is accessible—it’s often cheaper to buy than cocaine. Even though the key ingredients used to make meth are no longer readily available in the United States, they can be smuggled from China or India to Mexico. The drug is illegally manufactured in Mexico, and then Mexican cartels smuggle it into the United States across the southwestern border using established supply networks for other drugs. Meth crystals that are smuggled into the United States in liquids are recrystallized in illegal conversion labs. Conversion labs don’t produce meth; instead, they convert powder meth into crystal meth or recrystallize meth that has been dissolved in water, alcohol, or vehicle fluids.

Meth samples seized by the DEA have proven increasingly pure and potent. In 2001, the samples were 40 percent pure meth combined with solvents and other chemicals. Since 2013, the samples have become about 95 percent pure. The more potent samples cause smaller amounts of the drug to have a more significant effect on the human body.