With drug addictions to heroin, painkillers and cocaine on the rise, it seems that here in Arizona crystal meth (speed) continue to be in the #1 spot.

Speed-Crystal Meth Addictions in ArizonaLess than a year ago, KTAR news reported that the use of methamphetamine and speed spiked in Arizona, surpassing that of both heroin and cocaine statewide. Both crystal meth and heroin are now recognized by the Drug Enforcement Agency as the most prevalent drugs nationwide as Mexican cartels have shifted their cocaine trafficking to more profitable European markets. Even those more prestigious areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler, AZ, of which present some of Arizona’s highest socioeconomic numbers, are now gravitating toward cheaper substances of abuse.

The demand for speed and crystal meth is such that it is now among the most dominant drugs being brought into the United States, and especially into Arizona. As the prevalence of cocaine has diminished, drug addicts continue to seek a similar high, thus the turn to methamphetamine and the like (aka: meth, crystal, speed, crank, etc.).

Arizona is a major distribution hub for the shipment of Mexican-made methamphetamine to U.S. markets. Meth labs themselves are quite rare in Arizona, though a few do still exist. The Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006, limited the amount of pseudo-ephedrine that any one person can buy each month and is tracked by checking individual’s identification. Therefore, the manufacturing of methamphetamine has transitioned almost entirely to Mexico, where you can get pseudo-ephedrine in large quantities to manufacture multi-hundred pounds of methamphetamine, of which i nearly pure profit for the Mexican drug cartels.

Several reasons addicts are attracted to methamphetamine and similar substances include:

  • It’s inexpensive
  • It’s easily accessible
  • Weight loss is immediate (a major attraction by women)
  • People stay awake for days at a time, believing they are extremely productive.


Methamphetamine rapidly takes over an individual’s life. All behaviors and actions redirect the focus on staying high and the many things involved within that process.

Many folks believe the lower costing drugs like crystal meth tend to be less prevalent in the more upscale areas, such as Scottsdale, AZ and sections of Chandler and Peoria for instance, but that isn’t so. You can just as easily find people abusing methamphetamine in Downtown Phoenix as you can throughout Mesa, Tempe and onward. The fact of the matter is, substance abuse does not discriminate in any capacity!

Although speed-crystal meth easily takes the top slot for drug throughout Arizona and the southwestern part of the United States in general, heroin and other opioid pain killers are now strong contenders. Heroin can be used in smaller doses than methamphetamine, but is not as easy to acquire. The effects of heroin offset those of crystal meth and speed. Heroin and pain killers are the number two drug in the state. Many addicts turn to pain killers to ‘come down’ off being awake for days at a time on speed.

Once people transition to heroin, it can be nearly impossible for them to recover their lives. The drug is deadly, particularly because it is often cut with other substances to dilute it and make it more profitable for the manufacturers. These substances can range from speed to caffeine to rat poison, causing their own interactions and potentially becoming more dangerous than the heroin itself.

Heroin use is becoming more prevalent in the United States, despite its second place ranking in Arizona. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports a six-fold increase in the total number of deaths from 2001 to 2014. Because heroin is a more cost-effective substitute it can drive the cycle of addiction much faster than some other substances.

Methamphetamine and heroin are both highly addictive and powerful substances, quickly becoming the drugs of choice for users. In many cases, the only way to recover is by seeking professional addiction treatment in the form of residential, PHP or IOP drug rehab. The trained professionals and proven techniques can be the key to forming healthier habits and coping mechanisms.

Long term addiction treatment programs have proven to increase the success rate of long-term sobriety. While true of any drugs or alcohol, it is 10 fold more important to increase the amount of time residing in a treatment center and/or sober living facility. Once methamphetamine is out of the individual’s system, the ‘real work’ begins. People become totally enmeshed in using, obtaining and going to any length to get and stay high. Often, they become homeless, penniless, and destitute, having lost sight and hope of a way out. They need to be taught that addiction is a disease and recovery IS possible. Simply stopping is not the answer. The answer lies in surrounding yourself with others in similar situations who understand the thoughts, cravings and obsession that comes with speed and heroin use.

Research has shown that if a doctor conducts a PET scan 24 hours after the addict’s last use, 6 months later, and 1 year later, the layperson would believe they were looking at 3 different brains. It takes that long for the brain of an addict to return to homeostasis. If you are serious about changing your way of life and are willing to go to any length, then the best bet is to go to treatment and then remain in a well structured sober living environment for a minimum of one year.


For more information relating to this article or anything else on this website, or to inquire further about Sobriety Experience Sober Livings throughout the Phoenix-Scottsdale, Arizona regions, please contact us 24/7 at: (480) 744-0095 or (844) 700-9888.


Sobriety Experience operates a network of 8 semi-structured and upscale addiction recovery residences (also referred to as: sober living homes, halfway houses & transitional housing) throughout Maricopa County, Arizona.  While the majority of our locations are within the cities or Scottsdale and Phoenix, we are currently expanding into the areas of Tempe, Chandler, and Peoria, AZ.  All of our homes are gender-specific, that being either male-only or female-only, which is always the preferred format to the coed alternative.  Sobriety Experience Sober Living Homes range in cost anywhere from $175 per week for our more affordable residences to upwards of $225 and $250 per week for our more upscale and elegant locations.


The Sobriety Experience is a leading option for effective and affordable sober living and addiction recovery housing in and around the Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Valley → 480-744-0095 



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