Efforts to reduce the manufacture, sale and use of methamphetamine, an addictive and deadly easy-to-make drug, have been mixed in Missouri, which at times has held the dubious title of being the nation's No. 1 meth state.
Thanks to tougher laws regarding the sales of some over-the-counter remedies that contain ingredients used in making meth, the number of meth-lab busts in the state has gone down. But the sales and use of meth have not followed suit, in large part because meth made outside Missouri is easily imported.
Law enforcement agencies on the front line in efforts to combat meth sales and use say Missouri already has tough penalties in place. What's needed, they say, is more reliance on drug courts and their extended rehab programs, along with better access to information about who is buying items used in making meth from the state's drugstores.
Both of those targets make sense.
Meanwhile, Cape Girardeau County's sheriff, John Jordan, is one of five sheriffs in the state appointed to the Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Task Force. The purpose of MoSMART is to quickly get funding earmarked for anti-meth efforts to agencies operating where the biggest needs occur.
In the long run, cutting off the supply will be the key to reducing meth use. But it's a tough battle that needs all the help it can get.