The methamphetamine trade is hitting Michigan harder than ever, with secret labs cropping up in growing numbers in suburban neighborhoods and rural woodlands, reports the Detroit Free Press. County officials have busted 207 labs as of September. The trend has caused law enforcement to ratchet up efforts to combat the highly addictive, potentially deadly stimulant and the people who cook it. The raids so far this year are just two shy of the 2004 figure and more than five times the number from five years ago.
Following the lead of about 30 other states, Michigan legislators are restricting the sale of cold remedies highly sought after by meth cooks. Other strategies in place include having an extra 40 hours of training for police officers to become certified for lab busts, educating the public to spot suspicious activity, and enforcing harsh penalties for repeat offenders. Down a dirt path in one township where planned luxury homes will clash with dilapidated barns, sits a quaint brick ranch like so many others in suburbia. The house was a meth lab, authorities said. “It’s scary to realize this is so close to my house,” said Jennifer Carnaghi, 37.