Missouri's meth problem

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

The Joplin Globe

Well, it comes as no big surprise that Missouri continues to be a hotbed for methamphetamine manufacturers.

That's the bad news.

But there is a glimmer of good news too.

The number of meth labs seized through the first half of this year (1,460) is running behind the 1,655 seizures made during the same period in 2003. Is a trend developing?

Not enough to set off any celebrations among the law enforcement community.

There are two ways, of course, of looking at the numbers.

One is that law enforcement agencies are doing an excellent job in cracking down on meth makers. That is what the public and lawmen are hoping is being done.

The second, which gives less reason for cheer, is that the seizures account for only a fraction of existing labs. ...

Tougher laws, as Oklahoma is finding out, can reduce meth production and send manufacturers scurrying elsewhere. But the law won't stop them.

Meth will remain a public enemy until the money source dries up. And that won't happen until users care that they are surrendering control of their lives to an addiction.

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