Property Crimes Higher Than Ever Due to Meth Use

burglar breaking into a home

In these tight economic times, it is no surprise that property crimes are higher than ever. Could it be, however, that property crimes are related to drugs more than unemployment?

A national survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that meth could be tied to as much as seventy percent of property crimes.

The Connection Between Crime And Meth

Meth (short for methamphetamine) is an extremely addictive, speed-like drug. It has been said that users become addicted after just one hit. An addiction like that does not come without strings attached. When a meth addict has lost his job, used up his savings, and ruined relationships in his desperate clamor for more drugs, it is not so simple to stop there and set foot on the path to recovery. He will seek any means to get his next fix.

Statistics show that meth addicts commit fifty to seventy percent of all property crimes. They often hit neighborhoods with a large number of foreclosures to cut down on attention from neighbors. In fact, a recent study showed that a number of property crimes occurred in broad daylight, with people out and about, taking no notice of property being removed from homes. After the crimes were committed, witnesses admitted that they had thought the thieves were moving men or other workers.

The fact is, meth users are no longer the gaunt-looking wraiths of yesteryear. Meth has reached its grisly fingers into even the most upper-class neighborhoods, particularly among American youth.

Some Are Starting Young

The average age of meth use is creeping lower and lower. In a 2009 U.S. survey, 1.2 million children aged twelve and older had abused meth at least once in the year prior. That breaks down to 1.2 percent of eighth-graders, 1.6 percent of tenth-graders, and one percent of high school seniors.

Those high on meth can experience:

  • Increased wakefulness
  • Greater physical activity
  • Decreased appetite (many teenage girls take it to lose weight)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia (extremely high temperature)

Long-term meth use can cause:

  • Extreme, dangerous weight loss
  • Severe dental problems (known as “meth mouth”)
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Violent behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Crank bugs (the sensation of insects crawling under the skin, which can lead to the continual cutting of the skin)

Meth addicts will only live an average of five to seven years after addiction.

The Source Of The Problem

Eighty percent of the meth on U.S. soil is smuggled over the Mexican border in wiper fluid, beer and among produce. However, there still remains a vast number of local meth labs, particularly in rural areas. Law enforcement is continuing to crack down on meth production, including monitoring purchases of key ingredients in order to track manufacturers.

To undercut the problem, it is essential that parents talk to their children about drugs and work with them to prevent addiction. Prevention is always easier than recovery. This can start with a parent who can inform their kids of the dangers of meth and continue in the school with drug education and prevention.

Kids can say no instead of becoming addicted to these substances and suffering many negative consequences because of it. To learn more about meth abuse visit:


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.