A national survey might indicate a drop in methamphetamine use in the country and in Missouri, but don’t expect a drop in the battle against the drug.
Meth use has fallen nearly 60% from 2006 to 2008, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health with users totaling slightly more than 300,000. First time use of meth has fallen 60% as well. The survey indicates overall use of illicit drugs has dropped slightly through the United States.
Sgt. Jason Clark of the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control says such results are encouraging, especially since meth is such a difficult drug to shake.
"Methamphetamine is absolutely one of the most highly addictive drugs that we know of in law enforcement," Clark says. "Certainly those folks (meth addicts) are willing to sacrifice anything; family, friends, their physical well being."
Clark says while use might be down, meth remains a top priority of the Patrol, especially since Missouri leads in the nation in meth lab busts. Recently the national drug czar announced federal help for state’s struggling against the drug. Clark welcomes the help.
"Anything out there, the federal attention or new legislation, anything that’s going to help us as a law enforcement community or the state of Missouri to help fight this scourge we’re certainly welcoming any type of effort," Clark says.
Meth poses particular problems, according to Clark, because meth labs are dangerously volatile, with explosions a real possibility during any bust. Even if a meth lab has been discarded, it still produces toxic wastes that must be cleaned up. Clark says Missouri law enforcement can be proud of its aggressive campaign against meth, a campaign that will continue despite indications that meth use might be falling.