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:
- Pseudoephedrine sales decline
- Increased enforcement
- 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%.
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.
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.