Drugs Made in Mexican ‘Superlabs’ Are More Potent Than Ever, Fueling Addiction Epidemic in U.S.

About 34 pounds of meth was confiscated at a border crossing in Arizona on Nov. 13, 2017, authorities said. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

About 34 pounds of meth was confiscated at a border crossing in Arizona on Nov. 13, 2017, authorities said. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Ten years ago, the average gram of meth available in the U.S. was 39% pure. Today, it is being sold in a nearly pure state, manufactured in Mexican “superlabs” and smuggled across the border to feed an epidemic of addiction.

The drug is being peddled alongside fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer that can kill a human with just a speck or two.

The purity and potency of the illegal — and in some cases legal — drug market has seemed to reach new levels. It is a trend that is particularly alarming to authorities as it unfolds against the backdrop of an emerging opioid crisis that has taken an unprecedented number of lives and touches all walks of life.

Drug poisoning deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., surpassing car crashes, suicide, homicide and guns.

Read the full story on LATimes.com