Five years after a record low, the state of Ohio is seeing a strong resurgence of methamphetamine lab seizures. Fueled by a new and faster method of making the substance, use of the drug is growing faster than it has in several years.
The Plain Dealer — a Cleveland-area newspaper — reports that law enforcement authorities have seen a jump of 467 percent in the number of seized meth labs in 2013 compared to five years ago. Through June 24 of this year, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation discovered 635 labs. They expect to find more by the end of the state's fiscal year.
"It's killing us,'' said Larry Limbert, the leader of the Portage County, Ohio Drug Task Force, to The Plain Dealer. "It's highly addictive. The people I've interviewed over the years say they just can't get away from it.''
According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Service, methamphetamine sells on the street for $80 to $120 a gram. It is seen by some as a cheaper alternative to crack cocaine because the stimulant stays in the body much longer.
For most of its existence, meth has been thought of something that is "cooked" in kitchens and labs. Most of the current Ohio meth busts have been in less obvious places including the backs of cars and trucks.
"We're seeing a continuous spike,'' said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to The Plain Dealer. "It is easier [for people to make the drug]. We used to talk about 'meth houses,' or places people would make this. Well, today, you can make it in a pop bottle.''