A Japanese chemist, Akira Ogata, first created methamphetamine in 1919. It was used during World War II, as a way to make Kamikaze pilots feel more courageous and to fight fatigue. Later on it became a popular drug of choice by West Coast motorcycle gangs, such as the Hells Angels. Today it is used by people from all walks of life, from housewives to gangbangers to baby boomers.
As reported by the Justice Department’s 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, most of America’s meth comes from Mexico by way of four Mexican drug trafficking organizations, also known as cartels. In fact, southwest border seizures of meth have more than doubled since 2009, with a grand total of 7,338 kilograms in 2011. Meth has even taken the place of cocaine as the most imported drug. Though its use is currently on the rise, it tends to follow a roller-coaster trend. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that the rate of individuals 12 or older using meth increased more than60 percent from 2008 to 2009 and then dropped in 2010. We aren’t sure why this is happening, but what we do know is that is increasing again.
Though Mexican meth is usually much cheaper than local meth, users generally prefer to pay more for the local stuff. This is because Mexican meth is usually diluted and cut into by the time it reaches its final destination. More people are taking advantage of this by making meth themselves at home. A new technique for making meth, known as the “one-pot” method allows for people to use a plastic soda bottle, rather than a whole chemistry lab. One meth dealer informed reporters that he could potentially make a couple hundred dollars from 30 dollars worth of ingredients. He also noted that even the weather could interfere with the way the meth turns out, and referred to it as a “hope recipe”.
What Measures Can Be Taken
The 2005 Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act was passed by the federal government and requires that all products containing pseudoephedrine must be placed behind the sales counter and retailers must keep records of pseudoephedrine purchases. In addition to this, two states (Oregon in 2006 and Mississippi in 2010) passed laws that require a prescription in order to purchase pseudoephedrine. As a continuation of this, 16 states made an attempt at pseudoephedrine-prescription legislation, all of which unfortunately failed. This may be difficult to accomplish mainly because these types of prescription laws put an unnecessary burden on legitimate consumers of products containing pseudoephedrine for its use as a decongestant.
Even with these laws in place, meth-makers will find a way around them. In one case, a 60 year old woman was arrested for selling blister packs to meth cooks for as much as $50 each. Other meth cooks use multiple IDs in order to purchase pseudoephedrine products or have other people buy it for them. This is definitely keeping authorities on their toes.
What You Can Do In The Home
Preventing and treating meth abuse starts in the home. At a young age, kids should receive drug education on a regular basis from parents. They should know the signs of meth use, the dangers and how to say no. Schools and other groups should support this and provide their own education and prevention.
If someone ends up addicted to meth they should enroll in treatment on an immediate basis. A long term, drug free program is the best solution to meth abuse that can be offered.
For more information on how to prevent and treat meth abuse log onto www.narconon.org.