Authorities are reporting that a new and more powerful type of methamphetamine is hitting communities across the country, per USA Today. The new type of drug, which has been labeled “meth 2.0,” has reached levels of 97 percent purity in some cases and has been likened to the hit show Breaking Bad because of its quality.
News of this more potent kind of drug comes just as the United States had finally seemed to curb its rising opioid epidemic, which claimed the lives of 47,000 Americans in 2017 alone. Law enforcement is now worried that this stronger drug will only spark a new drug crisis, due to its incredible potency — and its low price.
The main reason that “Meth 2.0” is so pure and cheap is that it comes from Mexico, where drug smugglers have been able to create their product in labs. This means that they are able to have a much higher quality drug than the traditional old home-cooked variety. It also explains why the cost is essentially the same, as well as its quantity.
“These Mexican labs are making a very pure methamphetamine. It’s almost night and day different than your old-fashioned basement meth lab sort of thing,” said Tim Lohmar, the Prosecuting Attorney in St. Charles County, Missouri, according to The Daily Mail.
“They can mass produce the meth and distribute it at a reduced price, which consequently has led to a rise in local consumption,” he added, on its impact in communities across the country.
Lohmar then made the analogy to the cult television show following former Chemistry teacher Walter White.
“It’s a lot like Breaking Bad… If you’re familiar with that show, you know that the purity of the methamphetamine and the ease of the mass production is what made it so addictive and relatively cheap,” he explained.
Though not yet as popular as opioids, it is nonetheless is a close second. Meth overdose deaths increased from 2,600 in 2012 to 10,300 in 2017, per USA Today. Many users do not believe that meth has the same danger as painkillers, as it is less likely to cause an immediate fatal reaction.
However, meth is arguably still just as deadly, as abusers of the drug experience weight loss, painful sores over their bodies, and mental issues that often lead to their demise.
One recent heartbreaking example included a woman who shared a picture of her son before and after he became addicted to a combination of heroin and meth. As reported by The Inquisitr, the before shot shows her boy happy and healthy, whereas the after shows a scary and gaunt young man.