According to the author of a study about methamphetamine abuse in North Korea, an estimated 40 to 50 percent of residents in the northern part of the country are addicted to crystal meth. The author believes that almost everyone in the area surrounding the North Korea and China border has used meth at least once in their lifetimes.
As methamphetamine keeps the user awake for long periods of time, meth addicts in North Korea reportedly buy sleeping pills on the black market to counteract the crystal meth.
Previously, meth was produced in government-run factories. However, in recent years, the production of meth has become decentralized and is now being cooked at home.
Source: Jason Strother, “North Korea Grapples With Crystal-Meth Epidemic,” Wall Street Journal, Korea Rea-Time Blog, August 20, 2013.