Methamphetamine Facts

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  1. Methamphetamine Market Value$28.25 Billion

Latest facts about methamphetamine addiction and abuse. Statistics collected from government security services, drug treatment centers, public health programs and health alerts.

In 2013, criminal justice officials in the United States estimated that between $19 Billion to $29 Billion is being smuggled down to Mexico from illegal drug sales in the United States. The sales and revenue from marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is included in that total.

In terms of enforcement, the US Immigration ad Customs Enforcement seized $411 Million in cash that was being transported into Mexico.

The Former Governor of Sinaloa stated that up to 62 percent of the economy in Sinaloa was based on drug trafficking money.

Many of the drug cartels invest in legitimate businesses in order to launder their illicit proceeds. Cartels place investments into shopping centers, hotels, residential developments and various types of economic activities.

Source:  John Burnett, “At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South,” NPR News, March 20, 2014.

In the US State of Hawaii, a prison guard plead guilty in federal court for smuggling contraband items into prison.

The guard accepted $5,000 from a dealer to smuggle methamphetamine into the correctional facility, which was then distributed to a confidential informant.

(More earnings and income from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Ex-Halawa guard pleads guilty in meth smuggling,” SeattlePI.com, March 19, 2014.

In a report released by the Attorney General of the US State of California, researchers stated that organized crime groups were committing money laundering, cyber crimes, human trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking through the border between San Diego and Mexico.

According to the report, approximately 70 percent of all the methamphetamine that is shipped to the United States passed through San Diego.

(How much does meth cost?)

Between 2010 and 2012, at least 1,300 people were identified by security officials as being trafficked through San Diego. An up to 250,000 weapons are smuggled across the border between the two countries each year.

(Cost of an AK-47 and guns on the black market.)

Source:  Roxana Popescu, “State focusing on cross-border trafficking and financial crime,” UT San Diego, March 18, 2014.

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Through the use of our User Submitted Data Form, a reader of Havocscope submitted information about the illegal drug trade in Cambodia. According to the reader, the prices of drugs in Cambodia vary depending if the buyer is a local Cambodian or a tourist / foreigner. In addition, an expat who is closely connected to the drug trade will generally receive lower prices compared to a tourist or backpacker traveling through Cambodia.

The following prices for drugs were reported to Havocscope:

Methamphetamine:  The maximum retail price for a gram of methamphetamine in Cambodia is $100. As is common among black market sales, if the buyer does not have a scale, the dealer can short-change them and only provide .70 to .90 grams. In general, a customer can expect to pay between $80 to $90 per gram. Most buyers of meth in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of meth. The buyers assume that .20 grams of meth is included in the bag, yet most dealers only offer .17 grams. Thus, a meth dealer is usually able to sell up to 6 bags of meth per gram, making up to $120 per gram in revenue.  (See more prices of meth worldwide.)

For meth dealers, an ounce of methamphetamine in Cambodia would cost them about $1,500 (for roughly 30 grams). The price to purchase a kilogram of meth is between $25,000 to $30,000. The sources for the kilo of meth include various producers, such as local meth producers, to Nigerian smugglers and the Vietnamese Mafia.

Yaba tablets are offered for $2.50 to $5 to a yaba delaer, with the price rising to $5 to $15 for a tourist or foreigner.

Heroin: According to the data submitted, the $5 rate of heroin as reported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is incorrect. In the streets of Cambodia, a gram of “China White” heroin sells for around $40 to $70 per gram, depending on the amount bought. Most heroin users in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of heroin (same method as meth), thus allowing the heroin dealer to make up to $120 to $140 per gram.  (See all heroin prices worldwide.)

Ecstasy: An ecstasy tablet with roughly .10 grams of MDMA sells for $15 in Cambodia. Dealers are able to purchase ecstasy tablets for about $8. For a gram of MDMA, the cost in Cambodia is $100 retail, with $79 to $80 being paid by dealers. (See all ecstasy prices worldwide.)

Cocaine: Most of the cocaine for sale in Cambodia is “garbage,” according to the data. Many dealers attempt to pass of heroin as cocaine. If a dealer was able to find a legitimate source, then a gram of cocaine in Cambodia would cost about $75, with users paying between $100 to $200 per gram for cocaine.  (See world cocaine prices.)

LSD: $20 to $25 per hit.

Ketamine: It is legal for local Cambodians to buy ketamine at the pharmacy. However, the sale of the drug is banned to foreigners. Thus, vials from the pharmacy cost between $12 to $15 for a half gram. These vials are then sold to foreigners for $18 to $25.

Other Prescription Drugs: The pharmacies in Cambodia are barely monitored, thus many prescription pills in the West are available for over-the-counter purchases in Cambodia. For example, 30 pills of Valium (30 mg per pill) is available for $1, and codeine is widely available. However, stimulants such as Adderall are not imported and not available in Cambodia.

Source: User Submitted Data to Havocscope, received on March 13, 2014.

The average age of a crystal meth user in Germany is 20, according to a study commissioned by the Health Ministry. Most of the crystal meth abusers first tried the drug between the ages of 16 to 20.

Half of the people interviewed in the survey stated that they took crystal meth to deal with job stress or school stress.

Statistics from criminal justice departments across the country showed that 2,556 people were classified as new meth users in Germany in 2012. The number of new meth users was up by 51 percent from the previous year.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  “Children, 11, taking crystal meth,” The Local, March 12, 2014.

Security services in Mexico state that the organized crime group Knights Templar have made millions of dollars in the state of Michoacan by exotrting local mines.

The group, which primarily makes its money from drug trafficking, forces local mine operators to pay between $4 to $7 per tonne of minerals that is extracted in the area. In 2013, the shipment of iron ore totaled 4 million tonnes, compared to the 1.5 million tonnes extracted in 2012.

Intelligence officials also report that the Knights Templar is trading iron ore with China in return for chemical precursors that are used to make synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine.

(How much does crystal meth cost?)

Source:  ” Why Mexican drug-traffickers started smuggling iron ore to China,” Economist, March 9 2014.

According to data released by criminal justice programs, India is a main supplier of illegal narcotics to countries in South Asia.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reported that drugs and ingredients from India’s pharmaceutical industry is diverted to the black market. The illicit pharmaceutical pills are either trafficked domestically or smuggled on to the global black market.

In addition to prescription drugs, India provides most of the heroin that is consumed in Bangladesh. Most of the cannabis that is consumed in Bangladesh and Nepal is also produced in India and smuggled across the border.

Most of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine uses to make meth in Myanmar is believed to have originated from India as well.

The rate of opium seizures in India has grown in the last three years. In 2009, government security agencies seized about 1.7 tonnes of opium in India. In 2012, over 3 tonnes of opium was seized.

14 kilograms of cocaine was seized in India in 2011. In 2012, the amount of cocaine seized tripled to 42 kilograms.

Source:  “Prescription drug abuse growing in India: UN report,” Indian Express, March 5, 2014.

According to criminal justice programs in India, sales of illegal drugs in Goa, India is worth $950 Million a year.

The types of drugs sold in the Western state includes all major drugs such as cocaine, ecstasyheroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Drug trafficking in the popular tourist areas were previously controlled by organized crime gangs with members from Britain, Israel, Russia, as well as domestic Indian gangs.

Since 2009, security intelligence and arrests have shown that there have been an increase in trafficking gangs from Nigeria. Between 2010 and 2013, police in Goa arrested 189 Nigerians for crimes such as drug trafficking or lacking proper visas and travel documents. Roughly 40 percent of all foreigners arrested for trafficking illegal drugs in Goa was from Nigeria.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Rama Lakshmi, “Tourism crisis on India’s ‘cocaine coast’,” Toronto Star, February 15, 2014.

According to intelligence released by criminal justice programs in Montana, a gram of meth sold on the streets of Montana goes for $187 per gram on average.

The state has seen an increase in the amount of meth being seized by police. In 2011, security forces seized 818 grams in Helena, Montana. In the first month of 2014, over 828 grams of meth has been seized.

In 2012, a total of $128,000 worth of meth has seized by the Helena Police Department during the entire year. In the first month of 2014, $150,000 worth of meth was seized.

An estimated 50 percent of prison inmates in the state are serving time for meth-related cries. The cost to house these inmates costs the Montana Government $60 Million a year. Nearly 20 percent of adults in drug treatment centers are addicted to methamphetamine. The drug rehab program in Montana costs the state around $6 Million a year.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  Melissa Anderson, “The cost of meth in Montana,” KAJ18, February 13, 2014.

There has been a rise in meth use in San Diego country within the last several years.

Between 2008 and 2012, the number of deaths in San Diego due to methamphetamine increased by 55 percent, with 217 dying due to meth in 2012.

Between the same time period, there was an increase of 56 percent in arrests of people buying and selling meth in San Diego.

36 percent of people arrested in San Diego in 2012 tested positive for meth in their system, compared to 24 percent in 2008.

144 meth drug trafficking cases were prosecuted in federal court in 2008. In 2013, federal prosecutors handled 910 meth cases.

(How much does meth cost?)

Back in the 1980s, San Diego had the unofficial title of being the meth capital of the world. During that time period, security services believed that the close proximity to Mexico, along with open spaces to create meth labs and operations of bikers gangs all contributed to the meth industry.

Source:  Tony Perry, “Meth makes comeback in San Diego, once the ‘capital,’ officials say,” Los Angeles Times, LA Now, February 8, 2014.