Escondido, CA

Methamphetamine takes its toll in Escondido too

Methamphetamine is becoming an increasing problem in San Diego County, and Escondido is no excep­tion.

“That particular drug is on the rise and is becoming something that we are seeing both in larger quantity and in greater frequency throughout the county at large,” said Gregory Ko­gler, a lieutenant with the Escondido Police Department.

Kogler also oversees the special investigations division, which cov­ers narcotics.

According to a study based on drug testing of people booked into jail, meth users are currently evenly split between males and females.

“What is also interesting is, ac­cording to the study, meth is also at a fifteen-year high for adult females,” said Kogler.

He said Escondido meth rates are consistent with the rest of the county. Use also tends to be roughly evenly split among age groups.

Despite San Diego’s former dis­tinction as the meth capital of the world, today the metropolitan area sees very little manufacturing be­cause most of the county’s meth comes from Mexico.

“The drug trafficking organiza­tions down there have these labs – they’re called super labs,” said Kogler. “They are able to produce and manufacture a large volume of very high quality methamphetamine.”

The high quality – and quantity – drug has meant three things.

“It has taken a product and in­creased the amount of availability, it’s lowered the cost of the product, and it’s increased the purity,” Kogler said. “So I suspect that over time what we see is going to be an in­crease in people who are both using and the frequency of use and in se­verity of the symptoms that you see associated with use.”

Kogler said there’s a lot of dis­cussion right now among the public health partners: public safety, law enforcement, mental health provid­ers.

“There’s a lot of stakeholders in­volved in having significant conver­sations about what do we do with the anticipation that this problem is like­ly to continue and more likely get worse as the years go by,” he said.

For more information, visit and read the report Meth­amphetamine Use by San Diego County Arrestees.

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