Crystal Meth Addiction Statistics

As one of the most highly addictive drugs on the black market, crystal meth production and use devastates lives around the globe. Over the past 15 years, the United States has seen a significant increase in methamphetamine production, sales, and use, especially in rural areas throughout the mid-western states and California.

Meth is among the most dangerous of all illicit drugs due to the intense and long lasting high it produces, and the unmanageability it produces in users' lives. Crystal meth users will frequently stay awake for days at a time, be overly alert, and display bizarre behaviors and mood swings. While the enactment of state and federal laws restricting and monitoring ephedrine and pseudoephedrine retail sales has helped reduce the availability of meth, traffickers have found ingenious ways around the law and have ramped up efforts to smuggle meth into the US.


  • Clandestine meth lab seizures in 2007 was 1,802, significantly down from 4,002 in 2006 and 10,094 in 2002.
  • In 2008, approximately 12.6 Americans aged 12 or older reported using meth at least once in their lifetime, accounting for 5% of the population aged 12 or older. The number of recent new users in 2008 was 95,000, a sharp decline from 157,000 in 2007.
  • Of an estimated 1,742,887 drug relted ED (emergency department) visits in 2006, DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) data indicated that meth was involved in 79,924 of those ED visits.
  • Reported methamphetamine users in 2008 represented less than 1% of the population in cities like New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Chicago, while these numbers were almost 20% of Portland's population (19.2%) and nearly 30% of Sacramento's residents(29.5%).
  • Meth seizures by drug agents in 2006 averaged 51% pure, down from 77% pure in 2005
  • Ephedrine and Psuedoephedrine imports to the US are down some 75% from 2004
  • Meth can damage blood vessels in the brain leading to stroke (which can cause irreversible damage)
  • In 2004, clandestine meth labs were responsible for 2,474 children being displaced, exposed to chemicals or residing in a lab environment. 12 Children were injured and 3 killed in meth labs that year.
  • The average cost to clean up just one clandestine meth lab is $1,900.
  • At a cost of over $18.6 million, more than 10,061 methamphetamine labs in the the US were seized and cleaned up in 2004.
  • The total economic cost of methamphetamine in the US in 2005 was estimated to be $23.4 billion, resulting from costs for treatment, foster care, health care, recovery from crime, incarceration, and loss of productivity.
  • A 2009 assessment reports that 68% of state and local agencies in the nation's 20 western states still consider meth to be the greatest threat
  • Addiction treatment admissions for meth nearly doubled nationally from 2000-2005.
  • From January 2007 through September 2009, the price per pure gram of methamphetamine dropped 13.5% while the purity increased from 57% to 69%.
  • Nearly 80% of all meth consumed by Americans is imported from Mexico.
  • Although meth availibility declined i 2007 and 2008 as a result of tightening restrictions om ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, meth seizures have risen from 4,974 kg in 2007 to 6,568 kg in 2009.
  • US meth lab seizures increased from 3,096 in 2007 to 4,571 in 2009.
  • Meth superlabs are capable of producing more than 10 pounds of the drug in a single production cycle.

Crystal meth use carries severe consequences, and because of its intense and extremely addictive effects, many addicts cannot break the cycle of addiction. Despite aggressive moves on the part of federal and local drug agencies in the United States to curtail the spread meth abuse, drug cartels in Mexico have found new routes and new methods of smuggling the drug into the US.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a meth addiction, please call us at 1-800-610-4673 or fill out our free confidential assessment to speak with a trained, caring counselor who can help you find the best treatment for your needs. We're here to help!


White House Drug Policy

National Drug Threat Assessment

National Drug Intelligence Center

Wyoming Meth Project

Last modified on Saturday, 09 December 2017 20:53