Feds score against homegrown meth

By Heretic.Ape. · Jul 6, 2007 · ·
  1. Heretic.Ape.
    Data Show Curbs Working on Making, Not Necessarily Use, of Drug in USA

    Small, toxic methamphetamine labs that overwhelmed rural and suburban communities in the past several years are disappearing as ingredients to make the drug become more difficult to find, federal law enforcement agents say.

    New statistics released by the Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA ) show a 58% drop in meth labs and abandoned sites seized last year by police and U.S. agents, to 7,347. That indicator peaked nationwide in 2003, with 17,356 sites seized.

    The DEA credits the decline to state and federal laws that restrict the sale of cold medicines and chemicals used to make methamphetamine and to increased law enforcement, spokesman Rusty Payne says.

    "This is one time where the laws worked, and they worked quickly," DEA Senior Special Agent Philippa LeVine says.

    Problems with meth remain. The percentage of U.S. residents known to have used meth in their lifetimes dropped only slightly from 4.9% in 2004 to 4.3% in 2005, the latest year figures are available from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The rates of those saying they used meth in the past month or past year did not change. About 512,000 people use meth regularly.

    Methamphetamine, often called meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that can be made from medicines containing pseudoephedrine and household chemicals. It sells for $10 to $20 a dose, the DEA says. It is usually smoked or injected.

    Nationwide, small meth labs produced only 20% of the meth supply, even at their peak, the DEA says. The bulk is created in large, professional-style labs and smuggled into the country from Mexico and Canada. The DEA estimates that 80% to 90% of the meth in the USA is imported. "We know that meth is coming from Mexico in significant amounts," Payne says.

    In a 2005 survey of law enforcement agents in 500 communities, police overwhelmingly identified methamphetamine as their biggest illegal drug problem, surpassing cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Agencies in 70% of counties surveyed said meth was driving up crimes such as robbery.

    More than 40 states have enacted laws to drive out the labs, including restricting access to the ingredients used to make meth. Illinois, Tennessee, Minnesota, Montana and several other states created searchable Internet databases of addresses linked to meth manufacturers, dealers and traffickers.

    Last year, Congress passed the Combat Meth Act that requires retail stores to keep medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine behind the counter and requires customers to show ID when buying them. The law also limits how much cold medicine a customer can buy per day. The DEA created a national registry of meth manufacturers, dealers and traffickers in November.

    Meth emerged in California in the 1980s and quickly spread east, gaining traction in the Midwest. Meth makers set up rudimentary labs - -- purchasing cartons of cold medicine and stealing fertilizer from farms -- to concoct small batches for sale and personal use from recipes found on the Internet.

    The labs generate toxic waste that cost communities thousands of dollars to clean up. The volatile chemicals used to make meth occasionally explode, causing dangerous chemical fires.

    "The burden that these sites had put on the community has been reduced," says John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "These were toxic sites that exposed children, first responders, neighbors who weren't even aware this was going on."

    In Judge Seth Norman's courtroom in Nashville, criminals addicted to meth get two options for serving their sentence: jail or rehab. There's a long waiting list for rehab.

    "We're always full up. There's no room at the inn," says Norman, who presides over the Davidson County drug court and directs a court-run drug treatment center with a program specifically for meth addicts.

    Tennessee, like other states, has seen a drastic decrease in the amateur meth labs tucked away in backyards, motel rooms, garages and shacks after laws restricted the sale of chemicals to make the drug.

    The meth addicts, however, have not gone away. "We have not seen a drop in the use of meth," Norman says. "It's coming in from other sources."

    Some drug experts say the decline in homegrown meth labs may be the first sign that meth is becoming less popular. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area in 2006 saw a decrease in meth-related problems for the first time since it emerged as a serious issue in 2000, says Carol Falkowski of the Hazelden drug treatment facility in Center City, Minn.

    Two years ago, Minnesota began restricting sales of cold medicines. The year before, police seized 212 meth labs in the state. In 2006, the number of seized labs plunged to 59 -- a 72% reduction. Meth-related emergency room visits in Minnesota fell by two-thirds to 480, Falkowski said.

    In the same period, felony prosecutions for meth-related crimes dropped 21% to 307 in 2006 in Dakota County, a Twin Cities suburb, says County Attorney James Backstrom. "Meth has been an enormous problem in our community over the last five years."

    The number of meth-related charges in 2006 decreased for the first time in a decade, he says. Backstrom attributes the reduced crime to the curb on meth-making ingredients. "We hope it's a sign that this terrible epidemic is starting to ebb in our community," he says.

    Backstrom says methamphetamine continues to be the county's top illegal drug problem, and meth-related crimes still make up 30% of the court cases. "There's still a significant amount of meth around," he says.

    In Atlanta, "we've had a significant increase in the meth coming in from Mexico. It was less a couple of years ago," says Brian Dew, assistant professor at Georgia State University and the state's representative to a group of drug addiction experts who analyze local drug trends for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "It's just replaced the local lab productions."

    Share This Article


  1. Felonious Skunk
    :crazy:crazy:crazy lol...the DEA's spin censor is asleep at his desk. Give that boy some meth!!!
  2. robertone
    Ofcourse, like always they like to blaim foreign countries for their problem. They will never admit that they are, or were once, the ones who produced the most meth and, for that matter, xtc in the world. Anyhow, for what Swim concerns, all drug related problems are invented in the good old USA. Even the heroin problem is created by them selfs. Ofcourse it was ment to stay in the black community, but good old USA allowed their secret service to import it in the name of national security. The return of the vietnam veterans did let it run out of control.
  3. cyndi
    This is because it is hard to get the chemicals to make the meth in the US anymore. Mexico is a very poor country and yes a lot of crime is there. I live fairly close to there so see it. If the Mexican cartel can see profits from the good ole war on drugs, yeah they are going to mass produce it. It is not an urban legend, actually that is true. Most people swim knows that used to make meth stopped doing it cause of lack of getting the right chems to sick of being busted. Actually a lot of drugs came from Europe originally if you do some research on this. No you are talking about the slavery days in the 1800s when coke was given to the slaves to make them I guess more productive, that stopped when they discovered it made them more aggressive too. Opiates were imported by China I believe but someone can correct swim if she is wrong. Don't get swim going on dissing our Vietnam Vets, her brother in law is one and is a good citizen. That war cost him his arm and leg literally.
  4. Broshious
    If the chemical byproducts of meth production are really as toxic as you hear then I'm glad they're shutting them down. Now, I think they should be prosecuting people for the improper disposal of the chems and not the fact that they're making meth, but what're ya gonna do?
  5. cyndi
    Well my friend because of the "war on drugs" meth makers have to get rid of these really bad materials in not so good a way. Not that swim is condoning meth making at all but if the drug wasn't as demonized and oh dreaming a moment made in a more safe lab setting instead of a garage, then yes these chems could be disposed of properly without the maker of the meth getting into serious trouble. Supply for the drug is definitely not going away, one would think the government would get a clue and stop shoving the head where the sun don't shine. It will get worse not better if something different doesn't occur.
  6. snapper
    Tons of meth is coming out of mexico now. It is also very good quality if close to the source. SWIM thinks that like the rest of the war on drugs, the manufacture will just shift to somewhere else and the supply will always be there. Maybe the cocaine cartels in SA will pick up the ball with meth like they did with heroin...SWIM would be surprised if this has not already happened.
  7. robertone
    In the seventies and [the first half of] the eighties only amphetamine, besides heroine in the south of France, Corsica and Sicillia, was produced illegally in Europe. Meth and XTC came exclusively from the USA to Europe. Production of XTC in Europe started around 1986. In Holland huge quantities of MDME was made in 1990 until its ban in 1994. Because of the ban production of MDME was dropped in favor of MDMA and [in some cases] Meth. And about the enviremental problem; between 1989 and 1994 most of the chemical waste in Holland was disposed properly, only after the police started to check the chemical waste depots black marked producers started to dispose there waste improperly
  8. cyndi
    Swim is not debating legal vs. illegal, origination actually is what swim was saying. Some European not all are ahead of the US in production of drugs and medicines, in the US we have to get FDA approval which usually halts badly needed medicines here. SWim thinks we are talking about two different things? Swim has no idea what is legal vs illegal in Europe at this or that point in time.
  9. Sitbcknchill
  10. cyndi
    Thank you for looking into this, swim knew some of this but didn't want to continue the arguement. Also wasn't sure if putting links or cutting and pasting were ok. Weren't these compounds used in conjunction with the WW2 days to be given to basically the suicide bombers from Japan's side and the army from Hitler's side? Or were these discovered before?
  11. Sitbcknchill
    Indeed there was reports of kamikaze pilots being given this to maintain alertness as well as Nazi soldiers and Adolf himself. Methamphetamine was discovered some 40 years or so before WWII.
  12. tayo
    They still give air force pilots dextroamphetamine for long missions, they call them "go pills".
  13. cyndi
    Yeah swim has heard of the go pill theory but why the war on drugs if this is true? It doesn't make sense to ban amps or make them very hard to get if they are to be dooled out to the soldiers. Not arguing just thinking out loud.

    Yes swim does remember reading about Hitler and the Japaneze kamikaze pilots using amps for "motivation". Swim hears that laws in other countries are not as harsh as in the good ole US, so doesn't get why we are demonized all the time for this drug use. Swim just believes it is propaganda on both sides, US and non US that gets other swimmers annoyed at each other. Swim is for peace and education not finger pointing.
  14. ill_repute
    So with the subsequint decline in labs and availability of ingredients, I guess that explains the poor quality and slightly higher then usual pricing I have come across as of late.
  15. cyndi
    Really in Cali too? Yeah that is also happening in swim's state too. A lot of what is called "no dope" is around where they are making it without the active ingredient and needless to say it is really bad but looks good. Swim was suckered into that twice the latest time she got some. Pricing oh yeah it is outrageous due to the factors swiy just mentioned.
  16. tayo
    Why did they call it "homegrown" not "homecooked" meth? As far as I know it doesn't grow on trees.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!