Meth: Poison in the Heartland

The state of Missouri lead the nation with nearly 2,000 meth lab busts in 2012.

Methamphetamine, more commonly referred to as simply â??methâ?? is a powerfully addictive and dangerous drug. The state of Missouri lead the nation with nearly 2,000 meth lab busts in 2012. Narcotic officers say itâ??s definitely a statewide problem, but it's also an epidemic that spans across the country.

Jason Grellner, Vice President of the National Narcotic Officers Association based out of St. Louis, Mo., says more than 60 percent of all meth labs across the U.S. come from Missouri and its eight border states.

â??â?¦we do take down a lot of meth labs and some of those meth labs are very, very small meth labs,â?? says Sergeant Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Adair County had the largest number of meth lab incidents in the north-central region with 21 labs. Schuyler County had 10. Knox had three and Macon County two.

Jefferson County, Missouriâ??s county with the highest number of meth incidents had 346 busts. That figure is higher than many statesâ?? total.

â??The problem we are addressing is clandestine labs. Meth hurts and kills people, but the clandestine labs hurt and kill not only the operators, but the children living in those homes, the elderly, people passing by in vehicles as people are now manufacturing meth on our interstate highways,â?? Grellner said.

Although Missouri law enforcement and its drug task force has been very aggressive about tackling this issue. Thereâ??s not really much that can be done.

â??The reason we're not seeing a statewide solution or even a nationwide solution is this problem: because of the money involved in selling pseudo,â?? Grellner said.

In 2012, companies producing pseudoephedrine sold 75 million boxes across the United States. Those companies made nearly $1 billion in sales that year alone.

â??We see companies in their trade unions spending upward of a half a million dollars a year, in every state lobbying against legislators to require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine,â?? Grellner said.

This is likely because pharmaceutical companies know their sales would drop drastically.

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