What people say and what statistics say are often two different things. The decline of methamphetamine use in the U.S. is a case in point. When the government instituted regulations to pharmacies to keep cold medicine like Sudafed (which contains a key ingredient for methamphetamine) behind store counters, they had good intentions. They hoped that it would cut down on the number of clandestine meth labs through the country. However, putting cold medicines behind the counter is not curbing the meth addiction in the U.S., as evidenced by the 2006 National Survey and Drug Use and Health: National Findings report nor is it stopping drug abusers from making meth for themselves or to sell to others. Although, some drug users will buy it from suppliers who are getting the drug from Mexico, not all drug abusers will. It is cheaper for them to make it themselves and ingredients are still very easily obtained and cheap to buy and labs can be set up almost anywhere.
There were 299,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used methamphetamine for the first time within the past 12 months in 2002, 260,000 persons in 2003, 318,000 persons in 2004, 192,000 persons in 2005, and 259,000 persons in 2006.
In 2002, the mean age at first methamphetamine use among recent initiates aged 12 to 49 was 18.9 years; it was 20.4 years in 2003, 20.6 years in 2004, 18.6 years in 2005, and 22.2 years in 2006.
Northeast Midwest South West
Past year methamphetamine use was higher in the West (1.6 percent) than in the Northeast (0.3 percent), Midwest (0.5 percent) or South (0.7 percent) in 2006 . The rates of past year use in 2006 were similar to those in 2002 in each region.