"Methamphetamine has been affecting all the
counties in Idaho. One of the reasons is because
we are still primarily a rural state. And there's not
a whole lot of law enforcement present here in
many areas of Idaho," says Chris Smith, Sheriff of
Canyon County in interview with Oregon Public
Broadcasting. "Methamphetamine is
generating many of our arrests, which is creating
overpopulation in all of our jails. We've had
overcrowding issues now for upwards of ten
years,and of course it just keeps getting worse."
Bethany Gadzinski, a substance abuse
professional with the Idaho Department of Health
and Welfare echoes Smith's concerns.
Gadzinski, in an interview with the Boise Weekly,
said a national study showing meth abuse was
growing faster than alcohol or marijuana, "There
were no surprises for us" in the results.
The study was released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and
shows treatment admissions for methamphetamine use increasing faster than those from both
alcohol and marijuana in Idaho.
The data show a 35% increase in methamphetamine admissions, compared with a 22.5% increase for admissions related to alcohol use and a 23% increase for marijuana.
The study, based on treatment admissions data between 2004 and 2006, indicated that Idaho statistics for substances other than alcohol and methamphetamines fall slightly below overall national averages.
Crystal Methamphetamine ("ice") is a widely abused drug in Idaho, and continues to impact al elements of society. Idaho has experienced a dramatic decrease in methamphetamine labs as Mexican organizations turn to methamphetamine produced in Mexico. During the past year, there has been a marked decrease in the quality and quantity of methamphetamine in Idaho. During this same period, there has also been an increase in the price of methamphetamine in Idaho. All of this is the result of aggressive domestic law enforcement targeting and a crack down by Mexican law enforcement on the importation of precursor chemicals, and methamphetamine labs in that country.
In 2007, about 28% of the federally-sentenced defendants in Idaho had committed drug offenses. More than 70% of the drug cases involved methamphetamine, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.