U.S. Gov. Publishes Latest Crystal Meth Stats

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The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is published yearly by the Department of Health and Human Services showing meth statistics.


See a before-and-after photo gallery of meth users here


The study tracks current use information about methamphetamine and other drugs. For 2010, the survey showed the following meth statistics:

  • * The number of past month methamphetamine users decreased between 2006 and 2010, from 731,000 (0.3 percent) to 353,000 (0.1 percent).
  • * Although the number who have used in the last month has fallen, the number and percentage of persons aged 12 or older who were current users of methamphetamine in 2010 (353,000 or 0.1 percent) were similar to those from 2007 through 2009, but lower than those from 2002 through 2006.
  • * The number of first time users of meth in 2010 was 105,000. This estimate was significantly lower than the estimate in 2007 (157,000) and only about one third of the estimate in 2002 (299,000).
  • * Between 2002 and 2010, the number of persons with substance dependence or abuse was stable (22.0 million in 2002 and 22.1 million in 2010). This is important because while meth use is lower, abuse of other substances has increased, keeping the total about the same.
  • * Overall, the picture is one of less new users, but a stable level of methamphetamine abuse among those who prefer the drug over other options.

The DEA tracks arrests for methamphetamine possession and manufacture. These meth statistics show that new laws restricting precursor chemicals have had an impact on the number of labs busted in the US, but not the amount of methamphetamine reaching the addict population.

  • * The amount of meth seized (by weight) by the DEA continues to rise after a recent dip. In 2005, the DEA seized 2,161 kg of the drug, then this fell off over the next few years to a low of 1,113kg (2007) and has risen back up to 2,067 kg for 2010. It is unknown whether the dip and rise reflect different ways of getting the drug (import rather than domestic labs) or variations in enforcement.
  • * The same “dip and rise” shows up in meth lab busts from 2005 to 2010. However, since these meth statistics ( State by State breakdown) now reflect clean up operations and any mini-manufacture, the numbers do not necessarily reflect the reality. If a police officer finds a “one-bottle” discarded on the side of the highway after making a gram of methamphetamine, that is counted the same as a full-scale lab that makes pounds at a time.
  • * Methamphetamine is the most widely abused and most frequently clandestinely produced synthetic drug in the United States according to the DEA. However, cocaine, opioids and other popular drugs are not counted in this description – either because they are “naturally occurring,” commercially manufactured, or made outside of the US.
  • * Notably, the largest single seizure to date (208 pounds of meth) involved an international drug smuggling ring and happened in Las Vegas in July of 2011. This seems to indicate that, while production in the US has fallen (as the meth statistics show) – the supply is being met by Mexican cartels.

As expected, meth addiction statistics show that addicts continue to demand and use methamphetamine and, since domestic production is down, they get it using the same supply channels used for cocaine, heroin and marijuana.


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