Meth-related incidents in Missouri decreasing

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Methamphetamine incidents throughout Missouri have decreased since state legislation limiting meth-producing products took effect last year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that since Gov. Matt Blunt's anti-meth bill took effect mid-July, meth-related incidents have reduced an average of 45 percent, a release from the governor's office stated.

The state law restricts the sale of medication that contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which can be used to manufacture meth.

Meth incidents decreased 60 percent in February 2006 compared to the same month a year ago, and in January 2006, meth indcidents decreased by 57 percent compared to January 2005, the release stated.

"Users and producers are getting the message that meth and its far-reaching degradation will not be tolerated," Blunt said in the release. "We will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to wipe out the scourge of meth from our state."

Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force director Kevin Glaser said he has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of meth manufacturing labs in the region since the law went into effect.

"I'm optimistic we're headed in the right director of curtailing local manufacturing," he said.

Where task force officers would normally bust as many as six labs a month before the law, now the task force is only busting one or two labs each month, according to Glaser.

"We're making it extra hard for them to do that anymore," he said of meth producers.

Glaser said he hoped that the federal legislation recently signed into law, similar to that in Missouri, would continue the trend of reducing meth manufacturing, but stressed there were other problems in the meth culture that needed to be addressed.

Despite a decrease in meth labs in the state, Glaser said there has not been much of change in meth sales, even with the anti-meth law.

"The addiction problem is still there," he said. "If they've got the urge to do it, they're going to find the drugs somewhere."

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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