A study published by the scientific journal Addiction found that certain regulatory actions by USA and Mexico were associated with large, extended reductions in cocaine users and methamphetamine users in the USA , impacts that have lasted approximately eight years so far.
In December 2006, the USA regulated sodium permanganate, a chemical essential to the manufacture of cocaine. In March 2007, Mexico, the USA's primary source for methamphetamine, closed a chemical company accused of illicitly importing more than 60 tons of pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor chemical.
After changing little during the early 2000s, cocaine use in the USA began a downward shift at the time of the sodium permanganate regulation. In association with that regulation, there was an estimated decrease of approximately 1.9 million past-year cocaine users (a drop of 32%) and 0.7 million past-month cocaine users (-29%). During the period examined following the sodium permanganate regulation (December 2006 to December 2014), there was little or no recovery in the number of cocaine users.
Lead author James Cunningham, PhD, a social epidemiologist with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson says, "Cocaine and methamphetamine production for international markets requires access to massive amounts of legally manufactured chemicals. Disrupting that access should disrupt the drugs' availability and use."
He also says, "Strategies directed towards individual users, for example, information campaigns and direct medical care, have not yet fully addressed the public health problem of cocaine and methamphetamine abuse, indicating the need for additional approaches. To this end, and given our study's findings, control of essential and precursor chemicals warrants a closer look."