Crystal Meth Use, Deaths Rising In Florida Again
According to officials, a pure and highly potent form of crystal meth is being trafficked into Florida by drug cartels from Mexico. More powerful meth, simply put, equates to earlier addiction and more potential for psychotic symptoms and overdose.
Before the opioid epidemic got into full swing, meth was a popular drug in the state around the turn of the century. Then, however, most methamphetamine was locally made. Authorities say that this meth, however, is made in Mexican “super labs” and the potency is often much higher. Still, it remains relatively inexpensive.
They also say that the drug is especially popular in the LGBTQ community and Florida’s club scene.
Justin Miller, Intelligence Manager, Drug Enforcement Administration via The Miami Herald:
“Now, Mexicans are producing more meth than they ever have. It’s the highest level of production. They’re producing high purity, very cheap methamphetamine.”
Despite several high-profile arrests of drug traffickers, meth continues to make its way into Florida. More than 600 people died in the state in 2016 with meth in their systems, twice the number from 2015.
In 2017, Miami-dade’s crime lab found at least 267 cases of crystal meth by local law enforcement – more than three times the number of cases just five years ago. Broward County seizures increased from 148 cases in 2014 to 290 cases in 2016, but fell again to 206 cases in 2017.
And yet, cocaine remains the most popular illicit drug in Florida, and people are becoming addicted to illegal and prescription opioids – and dying from overdoses – at an unprecedented rate. Also, meth is commonly combined with other drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
Clandestine meth labs in the United States began waning after officials made it more difficult to obtain chemicals needed to make the drug, such as over-the-counter cold medicines that contain key ingredient pseudoephedrine.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology