Methamphetamine is a potent and addictive central nervous system stimulant, chemically related to amphetamine, but with greater central nervous system side effects. It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. It is classified as a Schedule II stimulant by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available legally only by prescription. Methamphetamine, when abused, is commonly referred to as “speed”, “meth”, or “chalk” and has been in use since the early 1960s. When abused, methamphetamine is usually smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally.
Meth prompted massive national concern in the early 2000s. In 2006 in an attempt to stem the tide of meth, Congress regulated the sale of meth’s precursor ingredients. But meth has made a resurgence nationwide, being more potent and far more affordable — a shift DEA officials attribute to Mexican cartel production on an unprecedented scale.
Unlike other drugs, the production of which entails some agricultural element (e.g., poppy, cocoa) or utilizes vast tracts of land (e.g., marijuana), meth can be made using inexpensive chemicals found in over-the-counter medications. Meth, therefore, lends itself to clandestine manufacture inside inconspicuous buildings. Meth labs have been discovered in every state, sometimes because an error in the “cooking” process produces a deadly explosion. But in many cases, neighbors are completely unaware that they live near a current or former meth lab.
To track the geographical and chronological trends of meth’s resurgence, Rehabs.com — a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, a leading provider of residential and outpatient addiction treatment services — undertook a study of DEA (National Clandestine Laboratory Register and Drug Seizure Database) data on the production and distribution of meth. Combing through 29,746 records of clandestine meth labs the DEA found from 2007 through 2016, Rehabs.com has produced a national map of meth labs to enable you to learn whether a meth lab is/was located close to your own home.
Although no state is entirely unaffected by meth’s presence, certain states are manufacturing hubs. The top 5 states in the number of meth labs are:
- Missouri is the meth capital of America, with 27.6 meth labs per 100,000 residents.
- Arkansas, with 24.7 meth labs per 100,000 residents.
- Oklahoma: 23.7 meth labs per 100,000 residents.
- Mississippi: 21.2 meth labs per 100,000 residents.
- Indiana: 20.1 meth labs per 100,000 residents.
States also differ in the potency of the meth seized:
- Nevada had the highest degree of purity or potency of meth, which could explain why Nevada leads the nation in deaths resulting from the use of stimulants.
- Maine had the next most potent meth, which has led lawmakers to consider requiring a prescription to purchase cold medicine containing precursor meth ingredients.
- Arizona possesses a deadly mix of meth quantity and potency, ranking first for average seizure size and fourth for potency.
Rehabs.com has an interactive map for you to find out if you live near a meth lab:
- Click here or go to: https://www.rehabs.com/explore/neighborhood-drug-dens/
- Type your address in the “search box” of the map, “Do You Live Near A Meth Lab?”.
- Hit “enter”.
I got this when I entered my address, which I had thought to be a safe neighborhood:
The address you entered is 2.49 miles from a location that has been used as a clandestine laboratory.
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