Thousands of Americans admit to having used methamphetamine in the recent past, and the majority of individuals serving drug sentences in the country are serving time on meth-related charges. The drug is widely used in the West, Midwest and Southern regions of the United States, with South Carolina as one of the areas with high reports of meth and crack cocaine. While the charges for methamphetamine use and trafficking can be severe, there are still thousands of arrests for the drug each year.
The Post and Courier recently reported on a methamphetamine bust in South Carolina’s own prisons. 15 individuals, both behind and outside bars, were indicted on counts of a “wide-ranging” drug trafficking operation. Two men were arrested for leading the operation, and were said to have conspired to possess with the intent to distribute and distributed 50 grams or more of meth. The inmates also used telephones and the U.S. Postal Service to further their operation, and attempted to launder money through various unsuccessful money transfer strategies. According to The Post, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force had been investigating the operation for years prior to the indictment.
The National Drug Intelligence Center provides an online South Carolina Drug Threat Assessment that includes state-specific information on methamphetamine. The resource shows that, while meth is not a huge threat in the state as compared to other states in the country, its production and abuse constitute the fastest-growing drug threat in western South Carolina. Reasons for the growing popularity of the drug are its lower costs and longer-lasting euphoric effect than other drugs. The NDIC also reports that although state-wide use is lower than other states, juvenile abuse rates near national averages.