Border security agents in the United States have seen an increase in the number of teenagers transporting methamphetamine from Mexico into the US.
Back in 2009, security services arrested 176 minors under the age of 18 for entering California border crossing with marijuana. There were 5 arrests for methamphetamine.
In 2010, the arrests for marijuana smuggling decreased to 61 minors, with an increase to 27 minors for meth.
By 2011, meth overtook marijuana arrests with 40 arrests compared to 34 marijuana arrests. The trend continued in 2012 with 59 meth arrests and 14 arrests.
The 2013 fiscal year saw the largest gap between the two, with 75 meth arrests compared to 17 marijuana arrests.
Out of all drug-related arrests at US entry points, minors account for 5 percent of those arrests.
Intelligence collected by federal officials show that the Mexican drug cartels pay children $50 to $100 or each load that they carry across the border. The children, some as young as 12 years old, generally do not have a criminal record and do not abuse drugs.
Source: Sandra Dibble, “More Teens SMuggling Meth,” San Diego Union-Tribue, December 2, 2013.
Surveillance by public health and security services indicate that 11 percent of all amphetamine and crystal meth users in China inject the drug.
In Cambodia, the rate of injection rate is 12 percent, and in Thailand the rate is 9 percent.
In Australia,where 3.4 percent of the population abuses amphetamine type stimulants, around 18 percent of the drug users inject the drugs.
Public health officials are concerned that the rising use of drug injections will lead to a rise in HIV infections.
The Southeast Asia region has seen a rise in the trafficking and production of methamphetamine. The Australian National Council on Drugs reports that intelligence services believe that there are up to 12 large-scale meth manufacturing operations in the Golden Triangle area of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Back in 1999, security forces identified 300 clandestine laboratories in Southeast Asia that was producing meth. 10 years later, the number of labs increased to nearly 700.
(Cost of meth around the world.)
Source: Sue Dunlevy, “Crystal meth drug Laboratories in South East Asia double,” News.com.au, December 5, 2013.
Synthetic drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine seizures increased by over 250 percent in India between 2009 and 2012.
Security agents in India seized 12 kilograms of cocaine and 1,244 kilograms of ephedrine (used to make meth) in 2009. By 2012, the kilos of cocaine seized in India increased to 44, and ephedrine seizures rose to 4,393 kilos.
Seizures of the sedative Mandrax (Methaqualone) also increased during the 4 year time frame, from 5 kg in 2009 to 216 kg in 2012.
(Convert prices of grams of cocaine to kilograms.)
Seizures of marijuana dropped drastically during this time frame. 208,764 kg of ganja was seized in 2009, compared with 77,149 kg in 2012, a drop of 64 percent.
Mumbai has the largest market for cocaine in India, with the drug accounting for 82 percent of drug seized in 2012.
Source: Deeptiman Tiwary, “Use of synthetic drugs on the rise in India,” Times of India, November 25, 2013.
Intelligence collected by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration shows that methamphetamine use is higher in the Western portion of the country.
Based on data collected at arrests, 42.9 percent of males arrested in Sacramento, California tested positive for meth. In Portland, Oregon, 22.9 percent of men arrested had meth in their system. In Denver, Colorado, the percent dropped to 5.9 percent.
On the East coast, 0.4 percent of people arrested in Washington DC had meth in their system, and 0.1 percent in New York City.
80 percent of the meth used in the United States is produced and trafficked from Mexico. Between late 2007 and early 2012, the price of methamphetamine dropped by over 70 percent in the US, while the purity of the meth increased by nearly 130 percent.
(See the cost of meth around the world.)
Source (PDF): “National Drug Threat Assessment Summary 2013,” United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, November 2013, page 10.
The Cape Flats region of South Africa reportedly has one of the highest concentration of crystal meth users in the world, with 10 times the addicts as Johannesburg.
Back in 2004, an estimated 12,000 school children were using crystal meth, or “tik” as it is called in South Africa. By 2009, the number of children using meth increased to 69,00, with security services and health officials stating the the number is much higher in 2013. In total, an estimated 250,000 people are addicted to crystal meth in the region, out of a total population of 3 million.
The meth is sold in drinking straws for $3. Users who are addicted are reportedly committing rapes and muggings while high. In one court case, a mother was given a suspended sentence and community service after she killed her son who was addicted to crystal meth. The mother stated that after being beaten, finding stolen goods in her house, and having her curtains set on fire that she simply could no longer deal with her son.
Teenagers armed with pit bulls also attack people in order to pay for their drug habits.
Two thirds of the residents in the region are unemployed, and one-quarter are HIV positive.
(Meth Prices by Country.)
Source: Fred Bridgland, “South Africa Breaks Bad,” Herald Scotland, November 17, 2013.
According to figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 227 million methamphetamine pills were seized across East and Southeast Asia in 2012. The number of pills seized was a 59 percent increase from the 142 million seized in 2011.
Back in 2007, security services seized 25 million pills across East and Southeast Asia.
102.2 million meth pills in 2012 were seized in China, followed by Thailand with 95.3 million meth pills seized, and Myanmar had 18.2 million pills seized.
(Price of Meth by country.)
Source: Associated Press, “UN Says Asia Meth Seizures Hit Highs in 2012,” ABC News, November 8, 2013.
According to the 2013 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Saudi Arabia accounted for 30 percent of amphetamine seized by security forces during the year. The country has 1 percent of the world’s population.
The majority of the amphetamine that is taken in the county is in Captagon tablets. The tablets are the trade name for fenethyline, and were previously used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder before it was banned.
In 2012, security agencies in Saudi Arabia nearly 70 million tablets within the country. Security experts believe that the amount seized represents 10 percent of the total number of tablets trafficked within the Kingdom.
It was previously reported that one Captagon tablet sells for $20 in Saudi Arabia. The pill is produced for pennies in factories in Lebanon.
(Price of meth around the world.)
Source: Aryn Baker, “Conservative Saudi Arabia Is Becoming a Hotbed for Amphetamines,” Time, October 29, 2013.
Security and intelligence officials across the Middle East have seen a rise in the amphetamine market in recent years. The trade name of the drug is called Captagon, which was originally created to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The drug was banned from most countries back in 1986, yet cheaper versions containing amphetamine are easily produced and trafficked.
The pills costs pennies to manufacture in factories located in Lebanon, and can be sold for up to $20 in Saudi Arabia. Each year, Saudi security agencies seized nearly 55 million Captagon pills each year on average, with security officials estimated that the seized amount only represents 10 percent of all pills being trafficked into the country. Three-quarters of all drug treatment patients in Saudi Arabia are addicted to methamphetamine and Captagon.
In a single month in 2013, authorities in Lebanon confiscated over $200 Million worth of Captagon pills in the country.
In December 2012, government forces in Syria seized a factory in the city of Homs that was storing 18,000 Captagon pills. Intelligence officials believe that proceeds from the illegal drug trade is helping to fund both anti-Asaad rebels as well as Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militia who is fighting on behalf of President Assad.
(More: Price of methamphetaines worldwide.)
Source: Aryn Baker, “Syria’s Breaking Bad: Are Amphetamines Funding the War?,” Time, October 28, 2013.
In a study of global commercial truck drivers, nearly half of drivers tested postive to using alcohol when driving, and 30 percent used amphetamines to stay awake during long trips.
The study conducted by the Universidada Estadual de Londrina in Brazil found that the number of users varied widely by country. In Brazil, 91 percent of truck drivers stated that they drank alcohol while working, compared to 9 percent in Pakistan.
83 percent of truck drivers in Thailand tested positive for amphetamines, compared to 0.2 percent in Norway.
In the United States, 12.5 percent of commercial drivers tested positive for alcohol.
The Federal Highway Police in Brazil stated that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and LSD were all easily found at gas stations and rest stop locations. Brazil has the most traffic accidents in the world.
Source: Kathyrn Doyle, “Drug use high among commercial truck drivers: study,” Reuters, October 25, 2013.
In the first 8 months of 2013, security agencies in the US State of Ohio recorded 770 crystal meth lab busts in the state. The number of meth lab busts is already the highest ever recorded for a year in Ohio.
Back in 2008, there were 112 meth lab busts recorded across the state. The number of reports have increased each year.
Similarly to Florida, authorities are attributing the rise to the use of easier methods of cooking meth.
Source: Jake Kauffman, “Record Number of Meth Lab Busts in Ohio in 2013,” WTRF 7 News, October 20, 2013.