TBI stats show decrease in TN meth lab busts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga pharmacy number 3 in the state for sales of pseudoephedrine

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The number of meth labs seized in the state of Tennessee is down 40.8% from last year, according to new numbers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The TBI reports the number of meth lab seizures have been decreasing for almost two years.

But that doesn’t mean meth use is necessarily on the decline.

Tommy Farmer, the director for Tennessee’s Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force, links the decrease to three things in the past year:

  1. Pseudoephedrine sales decline
  2. Increased enforcment
  3. Surge in Mexican meth

A new state law put in place this summer limits how much pseudoephedrine one can purchase. Pseudoephedrine sales are down 20%.

The state’s number three leading seller for that meth-making ingredient is the Walgreens on Gunbarrel Road. That location has sold more than 10,000 grams of the drug thru November 2014.

Farmer said there’s also been a surge in Mexican meth that’s being funneled through the Tennessee Valley, from two major hubs: Atlanta and Dalton.

More and more people, he said, are relying on Mexican meth instead of cooking their own.

But even with meth lab seizures down 41% this year, Farmer is quick to say the war on meth is far from over.

“We’re still projecting more than 1,000 meth lab seizures by year’s end so it’s still a significant number of labs, 2.5 averaging per day,” Farmer said. “But a decrease is very much welcomed.”

Thousands of children have been removed from meth homes and put in state foster care over the years. The average child will stay in the state’s care for 19 months, costing $106 a day with an annual price tag of $14 million to taxpayers.

Tennessee, Missouri and Indiana are consistently the top three states for meth lab seizures.

2012 Meth lab busts by county:

  1. Anderson (130)
  2. Hamilton (85)
  3. Shelby (76)
  4. Putnam (66)
  5. Warren (63)
  6. McMinn (62)
  7. Bradley (61)
  8. Coffee (60)
  9. Campbell (52)
  10. Carter (50)
  11. Dyer (47)
  12. Sullivan (44)
  13. Meigs (35)
  14. Morgan (34)
  15. Rhea (31)
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