Part 2—Methamphetamine

The 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is a comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the diversion and abuse of licit drugs, and the laundering of proceeds generated through illicit drug sales. It also addresses the role domestic groups, including organized violent gangs, serve in domestic drug trafficking. The most widely trafficked drugs are discussed in terms of their availability, consumption and overdose related deaths, production and cultivation, transportation, and distribution.
The full report may be viewed at default/files/2021-02/DIR-008-21%202020% 20National%20Drug%20Threat%20Assessment_WEB.pdf
The report is divided into the following sections: Illicit Opioids and Heroin; Methamphetamine; Cocaine; Controlled prescription drugs; Marijuana; New psychoactive substances; Transnational criminal organizations; Drug threat in U.S. Territories and in Indian Country and Illicit finance. A summary of each  section will be published each week.
Methamphetamine seizures, price, and purity data as well as law enforcement reporting all indicate that methamphetamine continues to be readily available throughout the United States.
Most of the methamphetamine available in the United States is clandestinely produced in Mexico and smuggled across the southwest border (SWB). Drug poisoning deaths involving methamphetamine continue to rise as methamphetamine purity and potency remain high while prices remain relatively low.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has disproportionately affected methamphetamine markets compared to other drugs of abuse. Many DEA Field Divisions report changes in pricing for methamphetamine at the wholesale and retail levels. However, based on reports of limited impact to overall supply of precursor chemicals and finished methamphetamine, transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) likely capitalized on the pandemic in order to drive up methamphetamine’s generally low price and in turn, their profits.
Methamphetamine is available throughout the United States, with the highest availability in the West and Midwest regions of the country, as well as a strong presence in the Southeast. However, in recent years, methamphetamine has become more prevalent in areas that historically were not major markets for the drug, particularly the Northeast. DEA seized 53,079 kilograms of methamphetamine nationwide in 2019, an increase of 55 percent from 2018 (34,270 kilograms). Methamphetamine seizures occur to varying degrees in nearly every state.
Reporting from the majority of DEA Field Divisions indicated methamphetamine availability was high throughout the United States. In 2019, 17 DEA Field Divisions reported high methamphetamine availability, and six divisions reported increasing methamphetamine availability compared to the previous reporting period.
Methamphetamine reports to NFLIS-Drug increased two percent between 2018 and 2019—there were 424,926 reports in 2018, and 433,740 reports in 2019. However, overall methamphetamine reports have increased significantly since 2014, when there were 247,546 reports, marking a 75% increase since that time. NFLIS-Drug data also indicates methamphetamine reports represent an increasingly larger portion of the total number of all drug reports—increasing from approximately nine percent of all reports submitted in 2009 to approximately 24% in 2018.
Next Article: Part 3—Cocaine.