Article | July 2011

The Resurgence of Crystal Meth: Trends and State Responses

The Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) has been tracking the issue of crystal methamphetamine production, distribution and use for almost a decade. In 2001, the SLC published a report, Methamphetamine Production and Abuse in Southern States, which examined the rise in popularity of the drug from the early- to mid-1980s and assessed its impacts on Southern states.

This article, based on a 2010 SLC Regional Resource, examines the health, public safety, environmental, sociological and economic effects that crystal methamphetamine continues to have on Southern states. Further, the report demonstrates the advantages of stiffening ephedrine purchasing laws, such as requiring a prescription or a photo ID, or limiting the amount of the product that can be purchased during a certain period of time; examines the use of monitoring systems for tracking ephedrine product purchases; assesses the effectiveness of interstate cooperation and data sharing; and provides information on how states can continue to address the revival of this terrible drug.