Methamphetamine use on the rise in southern Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the amount of methamphetamine coming into southern Illinois has been on the rise for the past five or 10 years.

DEA agent Doug Dorley tells the Belleville News-Democrat that the region has become a prime destination for Mexican drug cartels bringing cheaper and higher-quality crystal meth into the U.S.

According to the DEA’s 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, most of the meth available in the U.S. is now produced in Mexico and smuggled in at the southwest border.

Dorley says the cartels’ meth being pure and costing the same with less risk has created an open market. He says now meth “is just flooding itself into the streets.”