Among illegal drugs in the United States, methamphetamine in particular has grown tremendously in popularity over the past years. Consider the following statistics:
-- The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse in 2000 determined that an estimated 8.8 million people (4.0 percent of the total U.S. population) have tried methamphetamine at sometime in their lives. (NIDA: 2)
-- By 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a survey that estimated that more than 12 million people age 12 and older (5.3 percent of the total U.S. population) had used methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime. (Lloyd: 2)
-- The number of methamphetamine labs reported to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1980 were only 251. By 1999 this number had jumped to 2,000 labs and by 2003 a staggering 10,305 methamphetamine labs were reported. This number does not include the many that go undetected by local authorities. (Sanello: 83)
-- The UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program in 2001 found that of 30,000 people sent to drug rehabilitation facilities, 50 percent of them were methamphetamine users. (Sanello: 100)
While these statistics may be startling, what is even more alarming is the potential dangers this particular drug may present to the Latino community. While little research appears to have been conducted regarding this potential danger, a number of key factors appear to have the potential for serious impacts to Latinos in the United States.
This web page will examine the potential risks Latinos face from the growing prevalence of methamphetamine use within this country. The intent of this web page is not to condemn or criticize those who chose to engage in such behaviors, but instead is meant to educate and provide information regarding methamphetamine use and the Latino community.