Meth Addiction Facts: What’s True and What’s False?

Meth Addiction Facts

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on Jul 25, 2014 | Rehab Treatment Options, Types of Drug Addictions

Meth Addiction Facts and Statistics

Meth addiction is one of the fastest-growing drug trends in America. In fact, meth is quintessentially an American drug. It gives the user energy and a feeling of confidence. Think your morning cup of coffee times a thousand. Over the last ten years, meth abuse and addiction can safely be called THE drug epidemic in America.

There’s a ton of information out there about meth and meth addiction. However, these meth addiction facts are often overblown. It’s easy to forget the forest because the trees are ugly. Learn the truth about meth addiction facts today!

Meth Addiction Facts

Find nine meth addiction facts below:

• Meth, in its pure form, is an odorless, clear crystal. The color and smell of meth is caused by impurities in the cooking process and by the household products used to make it. So, the blue meth from Breaking Bad wasn’t actually that pure.

• The high from meth is produced by a surge of dopamine in the brain. However, over time, meth actually destroys the brain’s dopamine receptors. The receptors heal, but it takes them about three years to return to the level they were before being introduced to meth. This means that meth addicts are unable to feel pleasure for their early-sobriety.

• Meth causes approximately twelve times more dopamine to release than food or sex.

• There’s a common misconception that meth is instantly addictive and one hit will make you hooked for life. This simply isn’t true. Most meth addicts report it taking weeks, months, or even years for their addiction to become full-fledged.

• Pharmaceutical grade methamphetamine is prescribed in the United States under the brand name Desoxyn. It’s used to treat ADHD, severe obesity, and narcolepsy.

•The U.S. government passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1971. This reclassified methamphetamine, and regular amphetamine, as Schedule II drugs. Prior to this law, meth had been a Schedule III drug and was widely prescribed.

•Illicit production of meth involves a host of dangerous chemicals. These include anhydrous ammonia, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorous, lithium, sodium metal, iodine, and toluene.

•Meth producers in the U.S. now use “smurfs” to gather precursor chemicals. Smurfs are meth addicts who, in exchange for going to multiple pharmacies and buying the maximum amount of pseudoephedrine, are paid in meth.

• Long-term meth use produces a condition known as Rhabdomyolysis. This is the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissues.

Meth Addiction Statistics

Like meth addiction facts, the statistics surrounding meth are often overblown and untrue. Find nine accurate meth addiction statistics below.

• Large-scale Mexican labs produce 85% of the meth used by Americans. Only 15% is produced in U.S. based labs.

• However, meth labs have been discovered in all fifty of the states. Missouri leads the country, with over 8,000 labs seized during a two-year period.

• In 2004, upward of 3,000 children were removed from meth labs throughout the U.S.

•The cost of cleaning up meth labs in the United States has risen over 1000% since 1995. In 1995, the cost of cleaning up meth labs was approximately two million dollars. By 2006, this number rose again to approximately twenty-four million dollars.

• Each year, there are approximately 14,000 Internet searches for “meth” and 12,000 for “crystal meth addiction.”

•The United States methamphetamine market is valued at between three and eight billion dollars annually.

• Between 1995 and 2002, emergency rooms throughout the country reported a more than fifty percent spike in meth-related visits. This translates to roughly 73,000 total visits or 4% of all drug-related visits.

• Treatment centers also report a spike of meth-related admissions. In 1992, there were about 21,000 admissions where meth was the drug of choice. In 2004, this number jumped to more than 150,000. This translates to 8% of all treatment center admissions.

•In 2012, there were approximately 440,000 current meth users. This translates to roughly .2% of the population.

Learn about different types of eating disorders and how they interact with meth

What Do These Meth Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

That’s a good question. Meth addiction can mean different things to different people. Think about the stereotypical meth addict – a country bumpkin, homeless, and panhandling for change. This accounts for some meth addicts, though certainly not all of them. If nothing else, these meth addiction facts and statistics mean that meth is a growing problem. It affects more and more people and not only those you’d think.

The good news (remember, there’s always good news!) these meth addiction facts show is that there are more treatment centers than ever before. There are residential rehabs, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, even full hospitalization programs. There are treatment centers devoted to nothing besides fighting meth addiction. There are support groups and twelve-step fellowships. There’s even Crystal Meth Anonymous, a twelve-step fellowship devoted solely to meth.

Is Ritalin really “meth-lite?”

Meth addiction is a complicated and often misunderstood disorder. Quality meth treatment requires a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Fortunately, that’s where Lighthouse Recovery Institute steps in.

We offer Comprehensive Addiction Treatment at a variety of levels. Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015 to find out about our individualized and inclusive substance abuse programs.

Recovery is possible for anyone and everyone. Learn how we help you or a loved one take the first step towards a new life.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow

Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "Meth Addiction Facts: What’s True and What’s False?." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Jul 25, 2014,


Contact Us

Related Articles

What is IOP Treatment? Is it for Me?

What is IOP Treatment? Is it for Me?

Choosing to seek treatment for substance abuse is a huge step in anyone's road to recovery. However, not all treatment programs offer the same benefits. It's paramount that recovering addicts discuss their needs with their therapists and healthcare providers to find...

Meth Addiction in the LGBTQ+ Community

Meth Addiction in the LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community has grappled with the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS, and spreading awareness has become an integral component of national risk reduction. However, the exacerbated issue of methamphetamine abuse and addiction throughout the LGBTQ+...

Roxicodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

Roxicodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

Roxicodone abuse has become increasingly popular since 2010. When OxyContin and other Oxycodone products received stricter regulation due to their high abuse, Roxicodone's popularity soared. As a result, Roxicodone soon became the drug of choice for opiate...

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This