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Meth lab busts on sharp increase

Meth lab busts on sharp increase

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio has seen a big jump in methamphetamine lab busts this year. 881 meth labs across the state have been seized through September, a 45-percent increase over 2012.

"I think part of that is the fact that you can make meth today so easily," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Many meth makers use what's known as the "one pot method." It's more portable and harder to detect. It's also the reason we're seeing more "meth trash" along the highway. DeWine says that's dangerous to groups trying to do the right thing and keep the state clean of litter. Last year a Boy Scout was hurt by a discarded meth lab.

"We have a real drug problem in this state," he said. "It's probably as bad as I've ever seen it."

Summit County, in northeastern Ohio, led the state with 248 seized meth labs, or about one in every four seized labs in the state.

In 2005, there were 444 meth lab busts. That number declined to 112 in 2007, but it's shot back up thanks to the new method of making the drug.

DeWine says it's an issue statewide and there's no one trend that shows it favors urban or rural areas. DeWine says the numbers don't reflect how many labs are operating, but rather how many have been busted. A map shows some counties with high numbers and neighboring counties with low or no numbers.

"What we don't know is how much of this is just due to law enforcement," he said.

The state has placed restrictions on purchasing some of the items used to make the drug, like Sudafed. DeWine says it's starting to make a difference, but there's still a lot of work to do.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

 

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