The price of an ounce of black market meth in Oklahoma has dropped roughly 400 percent since 2012, after Mexican “superlabs” began pumping out massive amounts of the drug.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were buying illegal methamphetamines off the black market in 2012 for roughly $1,100 an ounce. Since then, the price has dropped considerably and agents are able to purchase an ounce of meth for $250 to $450, DEA special agent in charge of Oklahoma, Richard Salter, told CNN. (RELATED: Mexican Cartels Are Flooding Heroin-Ravaged Communities With Meth)
“That’s as cheap as I have ever seen methamphetamine my entire career,” Salter said. The price of meth has dropped largely because meth “superlabs” in Mexico are producing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamines every day and smuggling it illegally into the U.S.
Deaths from meth overdoses have risen from 140 deaths in 2012 to 335 in 2016, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
“There’s so much attention — not just in Oklahoma, but nationwide — on the opioid crisis,” Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward told CNN. “But our single most deadly individual drug is methamphetamine.”
Meth use in Oklahoma has been rising steadily as federal and state governments have focused more on fighting another deadly drug: opioids.
The Trump administration has ramped up federal efforts to curb the amount of illegal opioids available. In August, the DEA finalized new regulations on opioid manufacturers to ensure they produce only enough painkillers to fill legitimate medical need.
A June study suggested that opioid abuse results in the death of 20 percent of young adults in America.
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