For a while, oxycontin and other prescription drugs were the hot items among both dealers and addicts. Now, in the wake of the opioid crisis and the crackdown on doctors who overprescribe, an old-but-familiar drug is making a comeback. Methamphetamine (commonly known as meth), which was once the most popular street drug, has been increasing in popularity once again.
Data provided by the federal government indicates that meth seizures have spiked 142% between 2017 and 2018 alone. Whatever is being seized is likely just a drop in the bucket of what's really available out there.
Meth-related overdose deaths have also climbed again recently. There were 21% more deaths due to meth overdoses in 2018 than there were in 2017 -- even as the number of overdoses associated with prescription pain medication dropped.
Why is meth starting to regain popularity? There are a number of possible reasons. First, meth can be made covertly using a little bit of chemistry and some fairly common ingredients. That reduces the risk that comes with importing illegal drugs over the border.
Second, meth is associated with working-class Americans because it is cheap and it provides the user with the energy they need to manage two jobs and hard work without stopping.
Finally, some addicts actually trust meth more than they do pills and other street drugs because of the influx of fentanyl into the drug trade. It's too easy to overdose on. This makes heroin (the drug of choice to mix with fentanyl) too risky for many.
The painful reality for many addicts is that they get pulled into trafficking drugs like meth just to support their own habits. The lure is often too strong for an addict to resist. Now that meth is back on the official radar and opioids are under better control, people need to be aware of the increased scrutiny that can fall their way. If you're arrested for possession of meth, get experienced legal advice right away.