Local, state police say there is a methamphetamine epidemic in New Mexico
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KFOX14) —
Reports of people arrested for methamphetamine indicate there is an epidemic in New Mexico, including Las Cruces.
In 2016, an arrest was made in Dona Ana County nearly every day for people under the influence of meth.
New Mexico State Police spokesperson Elizabeth Armijo said the heavy flow of drugs is being manufactured very close to New Mexico.
"It seems like this is the drug of choice nowadays," said Las Cruces police spokesman Dan Trujillo.
So far this year, there have been 275 people arrested in connection with meth in Dona Ana County. In 2016, there were nearly 350 arrests made in the county.
"When you're on it, you're not in the right frame of mind and it's more likely that you can lose your inhibition or commit other crimes," said Trujillo.
He said police have also seen more children testing positive for the drug.
Most recently a 17-month-old baby tested positive for meth after her mother, 22-year-old Marissa Garcia is suspected of smoking methamphetamine near her daughter.
"When they use it in close proximity where there are children, children are highly susceptible to being affected by that. They can absorb it through their skin or through second-hand smoke," said Trujillo.
New Mexico State Police reported an increase in meth use in the state.
Armijo said in 2016, state police seized more than 850 pounds of methamphetamine.
In 2013, they seized far less, about 150 pounds of the drug.
Rick Tedrow, a district attorney in Farmington, said they've seen a decrease in the cost, which suggests dealers are trying to flood the market in the state.
"It's some of our highest numbers. Our drug crimes and most of our drugs is methamphetamine and it is a very high number of our caseload,” said Tedrow.
Armijo said the drugs are more than likely coming from Mexico.