For the first time in several years, the number of methamphetamine labs seized in Ohio has dropped sharply, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Authorities credit stores’ locking away cold medications. Investigators say meth remains the state’s fastest-growing street drug. Dealers have set up supply pipelines from California and Mexico to the Midwest. “The labs might be going away, but the addicts aren’t, and we know that,” said Capt. Hylton Baker of the Summit County drug unit.
Drug agents seized 444 labs in fiscal 2005; this year, police took down 243 labs. The steep decline in Ohio reflects a nationwide trend. Since 2004, local drug enforcement agencies have reported a 27 percent drop in the number of labs seized, says the Drug Enforcement Administration. California saw a 39 percent decline.