HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) says meth is making a comeback in Hampton Roads.
The agency said it’s more potent, cheaper to make and is killing too many people.
Officials say drug cartels out of Mexico capitalized on the pandemic and flooded our area drug markets with meth and fentanyl, causing major addiction problems and overdoses.
“We’re starting to see a huge uptick in the amount of meth being used in the Hampton Roads area,” said Jarod Forget, the Special Agent in Charge, DEA Washington.
They say in years past, smaller, homegrown meth labs would pop up, but now meth is being made in super-labs and large amounts are made cheaply and are more potent than they’ve seen in the past.
Health officials report an increase in deadly meth overdoses in recent years and they say sometimes meth is also mixed with fentanyl.
“The cartels are here. They’re bringing the drugs here and the market is here,” said Forget.
Forget said they are seeing a comparable market in price at the wholesale, distribution and retail levels. He said the levels are similar to some of these other bigger cities that have historically had a huge meth problem.
The DEA reports that most methamphetamine seizures in Virginia have historically occurred in and around the Shenandoah Valley; however, the DEA has seen the supply and distribution lines for this drug rapidly moving across the state.
Officials said fatal meth overdoses are on the rise in Virginia, increasing substantially in the last three years.
“We see members of the cartels directly in our communities,” said Forget.
They want the public to be aware of the issue as they work to get more drugs off the streets.