Drug Seizures on the Rise
S Sura | Mar 11, 2019 AT 3:11 pm
(KNSI) - Drug seizures for Minnesota's Violent Crime Enforcement Teams increased in several major drug categories in 2018.
Seizures of methamphetamine grew from 620 pounds in 2017 to over 1,000 pounds in 2018. The 1,145 pounds of meth seized in 2018 compares with 68 pounds in 2007 when meth seizures were at their lowest level.
The increase in drug seizures corresponds with studies that have found a rise in drug use among Minnesotans and nationally.
Dr. Tyler Winkelman of Hennepin Healthcare says research has shown that hospitalizations related to methamphetamine increased 270 percent nationally between 2008 and 2015.
Hospitalizations related to meth have increased at a faster rate than for other types of substance use.
The production of marijuana concentrates continues to grow and Minnesota has seen a 115 percent increase in seizures from 2017 to 2018. Much of the product is being imported from states that have legalized marijuana.
After years of declining cocaine seizures, VCETs have seen an increase in the last three years. Seizures of cocaine have increased from 35 pounds to nearly 60 pounds over the past year.
VCETs are also seizing pills, liquids and powders containing fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. Fentanyl is a highly dangerous substance and even a small amount can be deadly.
Drug users need to be aware of the serious consequences of taking substances because what is actually in the drug is unknown.