Study ranks Missouri #1 in meth manufacturing
Amid the opioid crisis, methamphetamine availability and potency has once again surged nationwide.
Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, prompted massive national concern in the early 2000s, an era in which small-scale manufacturers would “cook” the drug in makeshift labs. In 2006, Congress regulated the sale of precursor ingredients, a move that seemed to stem the tide of meth through American communities. In recent years, however, the drug’s availability and potency have once again surged nationwide – a shift DEA officials attribute to Mexican cartel production on an unprecedented scale.
Although no state is entirely unaffected by meth’s presence, certain places emerged as manufacturing hubs. Missouri had 27.6 meth labs per 100,000 residents; authorities regarded the state as America’s meth production capital until Mexican cartels came to dominate the trade in recent years. Several Bible Belt states also witnessed a striking number of labs per capita, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Fans of “Breaking Bad” may be surprised to see relatively few lab operations in New Mexico – the celebrated drama about a chemistry teacher turned meth trafficker played out in Albuquerque.
A team at Rehabs.com analyzed DEA data of meth lab busts and seizures to track the geographical and chronological trends of this resurgent threat. Unfortunately, Missouri stood out:
- Missouri is America’s meth production capital—it has 27.6 meth labs per 100K residents
- Net grams seized and street value has declined since 2012 making meth increasingly affordable
- But, the potency of meth has skyrocketed—in 2007 meth was 41% pure and in 2016 it was exactly twice as potent
For those desperate to end their drug use, navigating the complex array of substance abuse treatment options can be difficult. In fact, access to treatment in America presents a cruel irony: Getting drugs is often easier than getting help. If you find yourself in this position, don’t get discouraged from seeking the care that could save your life.