The number of local meth cases in federal court at Kansas City is rising at a slow but steady pace, highlighting the difficulties of battling a highly addictive drug that is relatively easy to make, the Associated Press reports. The meth situation is not so dire as in the past but it is still not showing any signs of going away. “Five, 10 years ago, we were having trouble even getting our arms around it, it was growing so fast,” said Todd Graves, U.S. attorney in Kansas City. “Now, we’ve got our arms around it, but haven’t wrestled it to the ground yet.”
Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant made in part from common household cleansers and cold medicines. Making meth produces strong, toxic fumes, and its use often causes violent, unpredictable behavior. Missouri ranks highest among central states in the number of meth-related seizures. Last year, 1,717 labs, dumpsites and paraphernalia were seized in Missouri, compared to 346 in Nebraska, 718 in Iowa and 487 in Illinois. In Kansas, which reported 728 seizures last year, there is a hint of promising news. The 2002 number is 118 seizures less than what was reported a year earlier. So far this year, there have been only 290 labs seized in the state.
The meth problem continues in the Midwest because of production techniques that use fertilizer – a common element on most farms.