Spike in meth smuggled across U.S. border puts Iowa at risk

Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are expressing concern of the increased volume of methamphetamine being smuggled from Mexico into the United States.

As the nation continues to grapple with the ongoing opioid epidemic, the Senators urged the Department of Homeland Security and Office of National Drug Control Policy not to ignore the surge in meth trafficking.

“While methamphetamine use has ravaged communities in Iowa, it has seemingly fallen by the wayside in light of the unprecedented effects of the opioid epidemic. With nearly 47,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2017, we are truly facing an epidemic. However, our nation is grappling with a poly-drug problem, and as such, we cannot allow one devastating issue to preclude us from addressing another. Therefore, we must be proactive in ensuring that methamphetamine abuse does not continue to rise to endemic levels,” Grassley and Ernst wrote in letters to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Office of National Drug Control Policy Directory James Carroll.

While laws passed by Congress have significantly reduced domestic meth production, Mexican drug cartels have filled the void with cheaper, yet highly-potent meth, which is smuggled into the United States. Recent data show that meth abuse is particularly widespread in Iowa. It is the most commonly abused drug in the state of Iowa and has contributed to a disturbing member of child abuse reports.

Grassley and Ernst are seeking statistical information on the origins, volume and potency of meth in the U.S. as well as details on steps being taken to combat the drug.

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