Meth Seizures Are On The Rise
With overdoses rising across the U.S., it only makes sense that illegal drug seizures would increase as well. Often times, first responders at these OD scenes wind up confiscating large quantities of substances after the patient is treated. But the amount of narcotics picked up has become quite staggering and, according to new research, they primarily consist of methamphetamines.
As we’ve reported before, “meth” has become a major American epidemic once again. Initially popular during the 1980’s, usage of this particular drug has skyrocketed in the 2010’s thanks to the U.S. opioid crisis. Now many users who start on painkillers are evolving into heavier dependencies and meth, in particular, can be extremely addictive.
The NPR website went so far as to show the research in meth confiscations. Since the year 2011, the amount of these drugs seized from crime scenes has shot up from 7,000 kilograms annually to over 67,000 kilograms annually.
You can see just how sharp the spike is in the graph below (which illustrates a gigantic leap in the year 2018).
Between 2017 and 2018 alone, the seizure number jumped by 142 percent. Research rep John Eadie spoke to the site after they published their findings, emphasizing the illegal trafficking problem that this country is facing.
“Seizures indicate increasing trafficking in these drugs,” Eadie told NPR. “So if seizures have more than doubled, it probably means more than double trafficking in methamphetamines. And with that go additional deaths.”
The site went on to discuss the source of these growing meth quantities. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration rep Jon DeLena also spoke with NPR, confirming that Mexico is the primary destination from where these batches are shipped. He believed cartels were marketing it as a “safer alternative” to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which delivers a similar high.
“These drug cartels, they study the trends just like people here study the stock market,” DeLena explained. “They know what the next trend is going to be, and sometimes they force that trend upon people. And that’s exactly what they’re doing in this case.”
And it is important to note that although they may have a reputation as being “safer” than fentanyl, methamphetamines are just as deadly. In fact, their overdoses cannot be reversed by a remedy like naloxone (which has been known to save opioid victims). Those who use too much, put themselves at a severe risk for a heart attack or stroke.