Mexico Produces Most of Methamphetamine Coming into US
by Jim Kouri, CPP
As methamphetamine abuse continues its scourge of the country, state and federal elected officials have worked over the last two years to pass laws restricting sales of over the counter products containing pseudoephedrine.
An Associated Press (AP) story reported that the federal anti-meth law was recently amended so that states could still impose their own laws as long as they meet the minimum requirements of the federal version. This allows states such as Oklahoma, whose law went into effect more than a year ago, to keep their tighter restrictions on the amount of pills sold.
State legislators in Oregon have gone a step further and have required the cold medicines containing the meth-making ingredient to be available only by prescription.
With the passage of these new laws, several state narcotics bureaus have reported the number of meth lab busts to be down by as much as 90 percent over the previous year, however the absence of home-cooked meth has not produced a decline in overall use of the drug. In fact, a different form of the drug, known commonly as ice, has become more prevalent in its place.
Ice is a very pure, smokable form of methamphetamine that is more addictive than other forms of the substance. Ice is similar in appearance to rock candy, crushed ice, or broken glass. It contains the same active chemical compound as powder methamphetamine, but undergoes a recrystallization process in which some impurities in the methamphetamine are removed. The finished product is allowed to dry into crystal chunks that are broken into rocks for sale.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says that historically, criminal groups from South Korea, Taiwan, or China supplied ice to Hawaii and parts of California, but the availability of Mexican-produced ice has increased abuse in areas of the country that were previously untouched.
Because it metabolizes much slower than cocaine, methamphetamine has longer lasting effects. Agitation, tremors, hypertension, memory loss, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, paranoid delusions, and violent behavior can result from chronic abuse.
The nationís prisons and addiction treatment centers have also seen a dramatic increase in what is known as meth mouth, which is the extreme deterioration of dental health because of the damage caused by the chemicals used to make the drug and lack of proper nutrition. Withdrawal from high doses of methamphetamine often produces severe depression.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.