Crystal Math: The Price of Big Pharma's Pseudoephedrine Addiction

NATIONWIDE

$23.4 billion
Estimated cost of meth epidemic, from child protection to law enforcement

$32 million
Cost of injury and death from meth labs

$29 million
Cost of environmental cleanup of meth labs

21,000
Estimated number of children affected by meth labs, 2002-11

4,154
Incarcerations for murder/manslaughter in state prisons attributable to meth

10.6%
Portion of car theft offenses attributable to meth

$605 million
Estimated value of pseudoephedrine sales

25
States that have considered prescription legislation

2
States that have passed it
 

OREGON

96%
Decline in meth lab incidents after prescription legislation took effect in 2006

0
Children removed from houses with active meth labs since law took effect

$580,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2005

$43,000
Cost of meth lab cleanup, 2011
 

MISSISSIPPI

99.5%
Drop in pseudoephedrine sold after prescription law went into effect in 2010

74%
Decline in meth lab incidents

81%
Decline in drug-endangered children

$600,000
Drop in spending on meth lab cleanup costs
 

KENTUCKY

$30 million
Cost of meth labs to the state (including incarceration), 2009

34,496
Number of police hours spent on lab cleanup, 2010

73%
Increase in labs, 2008-09

115%
Increase in crimes associated with meth, 2008-09

25%
Share of hospital burn patients who were injured in meth labs

$229,000
Average hospital cost for meth lab burn victims

$75,000
Average for other burn patients

20%
Death rate among meth lab burn victims

13%
Rate among other burn victims

0-4
Most frequent ages of meth lab victims, 2010

Map of the US

Sources: RAND, GAO, CHPA, Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, Kentucky State Police, University of Louisville study.