Officials warn of the booming business of Meth in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego was once known as the methamphetamine capitol of the world, but now Mexico has become a kingpin.

In fact, the meth business is booming due to demand across the border.

The DEA shared examples of the type of meth seized at the border with KUSI News, pointing out that the seizures have been much more pure — and dangerous — in current years.

“It’s highly addictive,” says DEA Special Agent In Charge John Callery. “It’s stronger than it’s ever been, it’s being manufactured at a factory level…there’s no guessing to it.  It’s basically done by chemists at the cartel level in Mexico and the best Methamphetamine in the world is now coming into the United States.”

In 2018, close to 500 people died from the drug.  That’s up more than 30% from the year before.  For comparison, 41 people died from opioid overdoses in the same time frame.

“The majority of our cases in San Diego are Methamphetamine cases, and I foresee that to be the truth for the next five years,” adds Callery.

Meth is most commonly sold in small rocks, which users will crush into a powder to snort or melt to either smoke or inject.

In San Diego, the amount of meth seized by officials has more than tripled from 2013 to 2018. Last year nearly 21,000 kilograms of meth was taken off the streets at an estimated value of $315 million.

Meth creates toxic effects in the body including tremors, chest pain, high blood pressure and irreversible damage to the brain and heart.  Long-term use results in organ damage and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.  According to experts, the damage still goes much deeper.  Callery even shared a personal experience where he witnessed a deceased infant during a drug bust.  Upon being questioned, the infant’s mother responded the baby “was fine.”

“It really alarmed me to the devastation of this drug,” he says.

The DEA says the number one way to combat the spread of drugs, particularly among youth, is education.  Agents conduct hundreds of outreach education to schools and community groups; but say parents, coaches and teachers must be prepared to have tough conversations with younger generations about the dangers of meth and its effects.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can call the National Drug Helpline at (844) 289-0879

Categories: California News, Health, Local San Diego News