The situation: Methamphetamine
continues to be the major illegal drug
problem in Iowa where its impact spills
over to child abuse, crime and toxic lab
cleanups. Much of the state's problem is
centered in the southwest part of the state
where more than half of Iowa's meth labs
have been uncovered by law enforcement.
Iowa also suffers from a child abuse problem
tied directly to meth. According to the
Department of Human Services, during a
recent eight-year span, more than 1,200
children were found in the presence of
someone -- often a parent -- cooking meth.
Meth in Iowa
-- After a brief downward trend in the number of meth labs raided by law enforcement, more are appearing. Lab busts since 2004 in Iowa (Source: DEA)
Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Labs busted 1,462 766 341 182 220 226 286
-- Similar to the trend in lab busts, Drug Enforcement Administration methamphetamine seizures are rising after several years in decline. Amount of meth seized by DEA operations since 2005 (numbers listed are kilograms. Note: 1 kg. - 2.2 lbs.)
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Seizures 24.6 15.4 7.1 24.2 17.7 42.9
-- On the positive site -- at least for the future -- Iowa high school students said they had used methamphetamine at a lower rate than the country at large. Percentage of high school students who said they used meth at least once in their lives:
U.S. average 4.1%
(Source: Centers for Disease Control survey)
-- Recent studies found that prisoners were incarcerated for meth-related crimes more than twice as frequently as criminals guilty of cocaine-based and marijuana-based crime combined.
Speaking of meth
“It gives you real time information on people purchasing (pseudroephedrine). It gives you a green check for ‘good to sell’ or (a red flag for) ‘not good to sell.’”
- Pharmacist Dave Henning on Iowa's tracking system.
“I think what it will do is stop them from violating the law. By no means do I think it will stop them from purchasing pseudophed.”
-Detective Shane Chandler, a member of the Johnson County Drug Task Force, on the same system