Mississippi has seen a huge decrease in methamphetamine labs compared to several years ago, according to Hinds County Sheriff's Office officials. But with the number of labs down significantly is there still a meth use problem in the metro area?
Drug Enforcement Agency assessment numbers show more than 600 methamphetamine labs were busted state wide in 2010.
"I mean we've seen motel rooms, vehicles, ice chests in the woods blow up. It's what we call mom and pop labs. They weren't very sophisticated, but they still produced the meth in a poorer grade if you will," said Lt. Crieg Oster with the HCSO.
The labs were not only extremely toxic and flammable, they were a ticking time bomb. And once they blew up,financially it was a hard hit for the state, Oster said.
"Hundreds of thousands for the cleanup of this. We had standards and guidelines we had to go through to clean this stuff up properly," Oster said.
Since then, legislation has changed to try and reduce the illegal activity. Chief Deputy Chris Picou said state laws took medications with the ingredient pseudoephedrine off store shelves.
"It's hard for these individuals to get a hold of that. So, that's cut down on the number of labs we've had in the state of Mississippi, significantly," Picou said.
According to the Hinds County Narcotics Unit it hasn't seen any meth labs from 2012 until now. But that doesn't mean people aren't still using meth.
"Meth use is still prominent as it always has been. We're seeing the higher grade of meth coming from Mexico. They have the super labs, which refines the product to the purest form, and it's demanding. Which is coming from Mexico and being trucked into the United States," Oster said.
Officials say there might not be hundreds of meth labs in the area anymore, but the battle continues to try and keep the highly addictive drug off the streets.
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