Meth Faces

Crystal Meth now purer and more deadly than ever before

While the opioid crisis has been drawing attention, health officials and law enforcement are raising a 2nd alarm as meth madness returns stronger than ever.

As reported by The New York Times, the scourge of crystal meth, with its exploding labs and ruinous effect on teeth and skin, has been all but forgotten amid national concern over the opioid crisis. But 12 years after Congress took aggressive action to curtail it, meth has returned with a vengeance. In Oregon, meth-related deaths vastly outnumber those from heroin. At the United States border, agents are seizing 10 to 20 times the amounts they did a decade ago.

Methamphetamine, experts say, has never been purer, cheaper or more lethal.

Mexican cartels have inundated the market with so much pure, low-cost meth that dealers have more of it than they know what to do with. Under pressure from traffickers to unload large quantities, law enforcement officials say, dealers are even offering meth to customers on credit. In Portland, the drug has made inroads in black neighborhoods, something experienced narcotics investigators say was unheard-of five years ago.

“I have been involved with meth for the last 25 years. A wholesale plummet of price per pound, combined with a huge increase of purity, tells me they have perfected the production or manufacturing of methamphetamine,” said Steven Bell, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “They have figured out the chemical reactions to get the best bang for their bucks.”

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To read more about how meth is making a deadly comeback across the country, please visit The New York Times.

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