Results Are In on San Diego's Meth Use

County health officials released their 2008 report card on meth use around San Diego and "the tide is turning."

There have been improvements in several areas. The number of meth-related arrests are down 25 percent and meth-related emergency room visits are down 29 percent.

"Most of the key indicators on the fight against meth clearly show that our efforts to eradicate meth from our communities are having positive results," said County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. "The tide is turning on meth."

Jacob attributes these positive results to the Meth Strike Force and the dozens of organizations and agencies that have been addressing the problem for over a decade.

One former meth addict, Mariah Sheneman, 24, was on hand to talk about her experience.

"It was crazy. There was nothing I wouldn't do for meth," said Sheneman. "I never had anything going for me, I could not continue to do this."

Sheneman hopes that her escape from meth addiction will give her sister, who is also addicted to meth, the strength and courage to quit.

The report also showed that the number of meth deaths in San Diego County increased from 174 in 2006 to 184 in 2007. Also, the number of children removed from drug-infested environments in 2007 remained virtually the same.

Meth abuse also costs taxpayer billions of dollars. In 2005, meth abuse cost U.S. taxpayers about $23 billion, according to a report by the Rand Corporation.

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