According to a report recently released by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), methamphetamine use in the area has risen to levels not seen since 2006. The study revealed that 47 percent of women and 31 percent of men who were arrested last year tested positive for the substance, compared to 39 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in 2011.
"Despite exemplary, collaborative efforts such as the Methamphetamine Strike Force, meth use remains a chronic problem in our region," SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research Cynthia Burke said in a statement. "While some progress has been made, law enforcement agencies, emergency rooms and public drug treatment programs continue to have to pour valuable resources into tackling the problem," she said.
She also noted that meth use is often an underlying factor in domestic violence, work problems and child abuse.
The study found that meth users were more likely than others to engage in risky behaviors like driving and going to work while under the influence. Also, the typical meth user found in the San Diego jail system has been using for about 13 years on average, according to SANDAG. The most common way they ingest the drug is through smoking, but some individuals admitted that they snorted or injected meth about three times a day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-term meth use can cause severe weight loss, paranoia and aggression.