Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Report: Meth Seizures Up At Border Crossings

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Methamphetamine is cheaper, more available and more potent than ever before, according to San Diego County's latest "meth report card."

Methamphetamine is cheaper, more available and more potent than ever before, according to San Diego County's latest "meth report card."

Officials said meth was once manufactured in the United States, but is now coming from so-called “super labs” across the Mexican border. They’re staffed by university-educated chemists, and supplied by industrial chemical manufacturers based in Asia. This has led to the United States getting the purist and lowest priced meth to date, officials said.

There has been a 300 percent increase in the amount of meth seized at all of California's ports of entry between fiscal 2009 and 2014, according to Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. attorney Laura Duffy said San Diego’s location next to the border makes it especially vulnerable.

“I believe that one of our primary eradication goals needs to be to help our Mexican government officials disrupt the production of methamphetamine that is coming out of these labs,” Duffy said.

The Methamphetamine Strike Force Report Card, released Monday, uses nine indicators to measure the meth problem in the county. These include meth-related deaths, emergency room visits, arrests and border seizures.

Methamphetamine Strike Force 2015 Report Card

Indicator 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Meth-related deaths 157 171 217 267 262
Positive meth tests for adult arrestees 27% 30% 36% 43% 45%
Positive meth tests for juvenile arrestees 8% 4% 4% 10% 13%
Number of arrests for meth sales, possession 5,139 4,869 5,190 6,658 6,598
Meth seizures at port of entry 2,560 kg 3,046 kg 3,585 kg 5,729 kg 5,862 kg
Price per ounce $1,200-$1,800 $800-$1,100 $900-$1,200 $400-$1,200 $400-$1,200

Meth-related deaths have decreased from 267 to 262 between 2013 and 2014, but the 2014 death toll is two-thirds higher than five years ago, according to a news release on the report card.

Dr. Danielle Douglas treats meth users in the emergency room at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. She said the county has to put more resources toward prevention.

“I believe that this country, this county is not serving our patients with psychological disease as well as it could be. And often these patients turn to drugs to alleviate some of the symptoms of their psychological disease, whether that be depression or schizophrenia,” Douglas said.

For treatment referrals or to anonymously report meth-related crime call the meth hotline at 1-877-NO-2-METH or go to

Web producer Brooke Ruth contributed to this report.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Andrew Bowen

Andrew Bowen
Metro Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover local government — a broad beat that includes housing, homelessness and infrastructure. I'm especially interested in the intersections of land use, transportation and climate change.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.