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Methamphetamine seizures increase along southwest Texas border checkpoints

4 weeks 1 hour 28 minutes ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 September 25, 2020 10:36 AM September 25, 2020 in News - Local

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas - Border Patrol Agents have seized more than $13 million worth of methamphetamine drugs at Rio Grande Valley checkpoints over the past four weeks since Aug. 28. 

“This year we have about a 170 percent increase of methamphetamine seizures compared to this time last year,” Acting Assistant Chief patrol agent, Dustin Araujo said. 

According to page 57 of the 2019 Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug Threat Assessment, “Methamphetamine seizures along the southwest border will likely continue to rise as demand in the United States remains high.”

In the report, the DEA mentions the potency of methamphetamine has increased while the street value price remains low.  “We are seeing an increase use of methamphetamine in the valley and it is leading to some very serious problems for our community members. This is troubling in the sense that individuals are being guided or coerce into using the substance as a need to cope with a particular stressor,” South Texas Health System Clinical Services Director, Joseph Garcia said. 

Garcia said the drug is known to mimic the effects of cocaine, but its cheap street value causes more potential for abuse. 

If you or a loved one are facing the negative impacts of meth, “You are encouraged to communicate your struggles with a loved one or someone that you entrust. Seek help from a licensed medical and behavioral expert,” Garcia said. 

While therapists encourage rehabilitation, Border Patrol agents are ensuring public safety.  “The majority of the seizures are occurring at the checkpoints and they are concealed within commercial vehicles, passenger busses, and luggage — pretty much anything a smuggler can hide it in, we are encountering it. The K9s are proven to be the most useful tool in detecting those narcotics,” Assistant Chief Patrol Agent, Araujo said.

Medical professionals said it is time the community comes together to address the increased use of meth, especially among the teen and young adult youth populations. 

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