The Meth Epidemic in Fresno, CA

A recent documentary uploaded to the website vice.com brought attention to the methamphetamine issue in Fresno, CA once again. The documentary follows the people of Fresno and their interactions with drugs on the street.

According to Vice, “Meth is the number one threat for the central valley drug task force.”

Some have believed Fresno to be the meth capital of the U.S. Though that is not statistically accurate, Fresno has certainly gained a reputation for it.

In 2009, the BBC released a documentary entitled The City Addicted to Crystal Meth, which was filmed in Fresno, California. It would seem that Fresno hasn’t quite been to shed the reputation. The documentary Vice released entitled The Crystal Meth Epidemic Plaguing Fresno looks into how this drug affects people in Fresno, specifically Latinx people.

Central California’s proximity to the border and the highways that run through it, makes Fresno the perfect place for drug cartels from Mexico to stop and unload. The abundant amount of drugs that exist in California because this is said to account for the low costs of methamphetamines.

Vice speaks with a man who provides charity healthcare to drug users and is a part of the needle exchange program. Needle exchange programs switch out the needles of intravenous drug users for sterile ones to fight against infection and disease among users. They also speak with a drug dealer who provides drugs to the homeless and the deputy sheriff from the Fresno Sheriff Department. While everyone seems to have different ideas on how to solve the problem, it seems they can all agree that there is a problem.

In a segment that ABC30 did as a commentary on this documentary, they acknowledge the issue of meth in Fresno.

Action News speaks to a homeless woman named Katherine who acknowledges that there is a drug issue within the homeless community of Fresno. She also mentions that those issues can be seen anywhere and among anyone. A neighbor of hers who is also homeless, Ronnie, mentions that not all homeless people use drugs, though some do.

Sheriff Mims, a guest on the segment, also cites the low price of methamphetamines to be an essential factor in the widespread addiction. Additionally, she says that Prop 47, a law that reduces certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors, could be at fault for the current drug rates.