Kansas Law Enforcement officials have called attention to the connection between a wave of methamphetamines currently flooding the state and a growing uptick in crime, labeling both a threat to the state, reports KSN.com. In Sedgwick County, Sheriff Jeff Easter said 70 percent of all drug crimes involve meth and the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office reports that in the last four years criminal cases involving meth have spiked from 11 percent in 2016 to 18.5 percent in 2020.
Harold Casey, CEO of the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas, said he’s also seeing an increase in those coming in for help, noting that 70 percent of admissions to the fifteen bed rehab center are for methamphetamines. Casey said the beds for women are typically open, but for men, the wait time can be two to three months.
In August, the center plans to open 40 new beds in Hutchinson and expand their Wichita office to help fill the gap. In addition, the current state budget from Governor Laura Kelly is providing $6 million dollars to remodel a building at the Lansing Prison that will create 240 new beds for inmates with a history of drug addiction. The KBI is also working on preventing repeat offenders as part of a coalition that addresses drug and mental health issues.