Were you living near a meth lab? 10 busted in NJ over a decade
Over the past decade, New Jersey has been home to at least 10 clandestine labs for the production of crystal meth.
According to an analysis of Drug Enforcement Administration data, that's not so bad. But the now-defunct labs were pumping out plenty of product.
An extensive study by American Addiction Centers resource Rehabs.com, analyzed the thousands of meth lab busts and seizures over the years throughout the country. An interactive map lets users see how exactly how close they've lived to a meth lab. Jersey City residents, for example, have lived within two miles of a lab on average. A meth lab was busted within three miles of the New Jersey 101.5 studios, according to the map.
When comparing a state's population to the number of labs detected, New Jersey's frequency ranked among the lowest in the country — .08 labs per 100,000 people. At least five states posted meth-lab rates above 20.
While the illicit production of methamphetamine may not be as widespread in New Jersey as in other states, use of the drug here has certainly skyrocketed. The amount of meth seized in New Jersey and tested by federal authorities jumped by more than 5,000% from 2015 to 2017, DEA officials told New Jersey 101.5 in February.
New Jersey ranked No. 2 in the Rehabs.com analysis for average net grams seized per bust.
The DEA said the spike in New Jersey is likely linked to cartel activity in Mexico. They base that assumption on high purity levels — some as high as 99 percent — recorded in drug testing.
On average, potency of meth seized throughout the country more than doubled from 2007 to 2016, according to the analysis. The average potency of crystal-meth seized in New Jersey was 61%, higher than the national average of 58%.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.