Meth addiction on rise, according to law enforcement survey
More women, teens and minorities are succumbing to methamphetamine addiction, according to a survey of 500 law enforcement officials in 44 states by the Washington-based National Association of Counties (NACo). Eighty percent of responding counties said meth use had not decreased in the last year, and nearly half said meth remains their number one illegal drug problem.
Released in July, NACo’s survey, “The Methamphetamine Epidemic: The Changing Demographics of Methamphetamine,” assesses the effectiveness of new precursor laws, which restrict the sale of meth ingredients such as pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, and whether increased public awareness of the dangers of the drug had changed the ways meth is produced, acquired and used. Sixty-one percent of the counties in the survey had seen an increase in the number of women abusing meth, 49 percent recorded an increase in abuse among teens, and 36 reported an increase among minorities.
The survey also shows that, while abuse of the drug has not changed or increased in most of the counties, precursor laws have helped reduce the ability of meth manufacturers to “cook” the drug in 81 percent of the counties. “Despite the effectiveness of precursor laws, the appetite for this dangerous, family-shattering and costly drug continues to grow,” said NACo President and Oakland County, Mich., Commissioner Eric Coleman.
NACo wants Congress to pass three laws, the Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act, the Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act and the CLEAN-UP of Methamphetamine Act, to address the problem. More information is available at www.naco.org/