The Mexican government's recent efforts to control the manufacture of methamphetamine have caused a drop in methamphetamine treatment admissions in Mexico and in neighbouring Texas, a study published journal Addiction has revealed.
In 2005 Mexico began controlling its imports of pseudoephedrine (a precursor chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine), and in 2008 it became the first country in North America to ban all imports of pseudoephedrine as well as ephedrine, another important precursor chemical. Researchers estimate that the 2005 import controls caused a 12% drop in voluntary methamphetamine treatment admissions in Mexico, with similar reductions in Texas.
An even larger drop in voluntary admissions occurred following the 2007 closure of a commercial chemical company suspected of illicitly importing more than 60 tons of pseudoephedrine into Mexico. The head of the company fled Mexico but was eventually arrested in the United States. Methamphetamine treatment admissions in Mexico decreased by 56% following the closure of the company, with Texas showing similar results.
Says lead researcher James Cunningham, a Fulbright Scholar at The University of Arizona: "These findings constitute the first evidence outside the United States that a country's precursor chemical controls can have positive public health results both domestically and internationally."