Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that works on the central nervous system and its structure resembles that of amphetamine. It is classified as a scheduled II drug. While medical uses are limited, a doctor may prescribe this drug, but typically in much lower doses than the average use on the street. This stimulant comes from super labs although it can also be manufactured in small laboratories.
The degree of this increasing meth abuse can be clearly seen in Meth addiction statistics.
- In 2004, it was reported that more than 8,000 meth labs were seized in the US and about 3,000 children were removed from the labs by Child Welfare workers.
- Super labs in Mexico and California are the main sources (85%) of meth in the United States. The famous Mexican drug cartels use Indian reservations and safe houses to transport this drug to North Dakota.
- The introduction of state legislation in North Dakota that controlled the sale of over-the-counter medications significantly reduced the number of local labs from 190 in 2005 to about 40 in 2006.
- Meth is manufactured by small clandestine labs using hundreds of unique recipes.
- The by-products that result from the manufacture of meth are poisonous and they can pollute water, poison lakes, and even permeate flooring and walls, which often leads to explosions and fires.
- From the Meth addiction statistics, $1,000 worth of ingredients can produce about $20,000 worth of methamphetamine.
- The police articulated that the price of one dosage of cocaine that can give a user a 20-minute high is sufficient to purchase meth that can make a user buzzed for up to two days.
- The average clandestine lab possesses a makeshift equipment that would fit perfectly into a small cardboard box. Meth labs have been set up in sheds, backyards, ice houses, vehicles, bath tubs and even kitchens.
- The Meth addiction statistics stated that all meth production operations have been brought to light in all the 50 US states. Between 2002 and 2004, when labs, toxic dumps and equipment caches were seized, Missouri topped the list with over 8,000 labs.
- Police nationwide rank meth as the number one stimulant drug they are battling today. National Association of Counties (NACO) did a research in more than 500 police agencies in the 45 states and they said that more than 58% of these agencies admitted that meth is the biggest drug problem compared to 17% for marijuana, 19% for cocaine and 3% for heroin.
- According to the federal estimates, out of the 12 million Americans who have tried meth, 1.5 million of them are regular users.
- Also, according to Meth addiction statistics, in 2005, about 6.2% of high school students reported to have used meth at least once.
- The number of teenagers (between 12 and 17 years –old) admitted for treatment for meth addiction between 1994 and 2004 almost doubled.