The Meth Problem in San Diego

“The numbers are heading in the wrong direction. More and more residents are dying from meth use, and we must step up our fight against this killer.”

~ Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Board of Directors

Because opioids are always in the news, it’s easy to forget about another dangerous drug problem in San Diego—methamphetamine, also known as meth, ice, glass, crystal, crank, speed, and hundreds of other street names.

Meth Puts the Entire Region at Risk

Because of its proximity to the Mexican border, Southern California deals with a bigger meth threat than most other areas of the country. It is estimated that 85% of the methamphetamines in the United States are produced in Mexico or California.

And MOST of it flows though San Diego. At one point (not very long ago), the city was known as the “Meth Capital of the World”. Demand stays high because Mexican meth is potent and cheap.

This over-availability means more meth abuse and fatalities. Between 2011 and 2015, meth-involved deaths in the San Diego area spiked 82%, according to the county’s Methamphetamine Strike Force.

Dangers of Meth Abuse

“Some were quite attractive when they began to come to jail: young people who were full of the health and had everything going for them … and now they’re a shell of what they once were.”

~ Deputy Brett King, Sheriff’s Department, Multnomah County, Oregon

Methamphetamine abuse takes a terrible toll on the body and mind, drastically altering both in a very short time. Warning signs of meth abuse include

  • Excessive sweating
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Increased temperature
  • Tremors in the extremities
  • Inability to sleep
  • Jaw-Clenching
  • Garrulousness, rambling conversation
  • Loss of concentration and focus
  • Obsession with repetitive tasks
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Aggression
  • Panic, often to the point of paranoia

Those are just the “normal” the effects of chronic use. But as use progresses to addiction, the physical and mental effects greatly worsen:

  • Drug tolerance – needing increasing amounts of methamphetamine to realize the same effects
  • Uncontrollable drug cravings
  • Loss of appetite – meth addicts consume up to 80% less food than normal
  • Dangerous weight loss
  • Anorexia
  • Malnutrition
  • Psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Sensations that the skin is “crawling”
  • Skin lesions
  • Tooth decay and loss – “meth mouth”
  • Muscle loss
  • Brain damage
  • Loss of Kidney Function
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

If meth abuse is impacting your life, Lasting Recovery outpatient drug rehab in San Diego can help.