For years Missouri was known as the meth lab capital of America because it led the nation in meth lab seizures. The home made meth labs may have gone away, but that doesn't mean there isn't a major meth problem here.

Meth made in Mexico seems to have replaced the guy making meth in the trashy garage down the street. This according to an article from KCRGTV.com.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has announced a major a methamphetamine crackdown called Operation Crystal Shield. The operation is focused on eight hubs where high levels of Mexican meth are being seized. The St. Louis division, which covers all of Missouri and Kansas, is the northernmost targeted area.

While a meth lab springing up down the street is becoming less common, meth use is growing according to a study from Millennium Health. "Methamphetamine and fentanyl positivity rates increased nationally by 129.6%." Missouri ranked ninth in the country for number of people testing positive for meth.

One only need do do a google search for "meth use in Pettis County Missouri" to see the depth of our meth problem. The search is littered with stories about drug busts, people facing meth charges, the midwest meth crisis and even an AP article from 2013 talking about Sedalia being the center of Missouri's meth trafficking problem.

It's interesting to me on the same day the DEA reveals that Operation Crystal Shield is a thing, Missouri Senate Bill 610 sponsored by Missouri Sen. David Sater (R-Cassville) is the big drug story. According to KY3.com this bill "would allow employers to test employees and prospective employees for medical marijuana." It would also allow employers to fire them if marijuana is found in their system.

 

It's not surprising to me that the proposed marijuana legislation is getting most of the social media attention. Pot is sexy, and legal or not, has become almost as accepted as cracking open a beer or having a few shots to enhance your mood, self medicate, and escape life's pressures for a night.

A police officer once told me in his experience, once addicted, the chance of overcoming a meth addiction is slim and that meth addiction causing the user's death, almost certain. Maybe that's something we need to talk about beyond littering the internet with a story on the latest meth bust or mug shots of addicts caught by the cops.

It would be nice to stop the problem before someone you know is at the center of one of those stories. Sadly, it's too late for many addicts and their families. But sure, let's give the dollar store the right to fire the employee who hit the bong Saturday night, that's sure to make our community safer.