Missouri is known as the meth capital of America, but recent Drug Enforcement Administration statistics suggest this may be changing. Missouri meth lab incidents decreased more than 12 percent in 2012, according the DEA.
Prevention Specialist, Heather Harlan, for Phoenix Programs—a drug treatment center in Columbia—said she has seen a decrease in meth users, but the reasons are not so clear.
Missouri’s meth problem is no secret. In 2012, the Show-Me State has the highest number of meth-lab seizure in the country. But beyond the busts — Missouri has no statewide regulation on what to do with former meth labs.
On AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ meth cooks prepare a batch in a trailer in the desert or a dirty and abandoned house. But this image of secrecy and seclusion isn’t always true. Timothy Sigmund is a real estate attorney from Jefferson City. He says many meth labs aren’t where pop culture might suggest they are.
“Apartment buildings, nicer homes,” Sigmund says. “It can be happening in many different places, and it doesn’t matter. It’s not that it’s some run-down shack in the middle of the woods.”
In 2011, Missouri law enforcement busted about five meth labs each day on average – almost double the number of any other state. The state spends more than $2 million dollars a year on cleanup of these labs, and millions more on incarceration, child care, and drug treatment.
For the past decade, Missouri has claimed the dubious distinction of the most meth busts of any state in the nation. In this week's Health & Wealth update, reporter Kyle Deas has the first in a two-part-series on Missouri's unique meth addiction.
Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:
MU’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute will cease to exist. The nuclear engineering department has been split in two, with the transition expected to be finalized by July 1. KBIA’s Nick Gass gauged the reaction among student and faculty researchers.
Three Missouri communities will share more than $62,000 in federal grants for historic preservation projects.