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Meth lab busts decline in Indiana over the past years, but ISP says meth isn't gone

WSBT 22

Indiana once lead the pack when it came to the state with the most meth labs, but over the past several years-- that's changed. Meth lab busts are drastically down throughout the state.

Police say drugs and the way people get them are constantly changing. They say meth is still a danger to our communities.

“While we may have at least for the time being turned our methamphetamine lab corner, we certainly are keeping our eye open for emerging threats,” said ISP Sergeant Don McCay.

Sgt. McCay, who specializes in drug enforcement, says meth lab busts are now few and far between.

"Thankfully, our clandestine lab numbers have went down substantially over the last two to three years, and we are certainly happy for that,” he said.

In 2013, police busted about 1,800 labs throughout the state. In 2015, about 1,50, but in 2017, those numbers dropped to 387.

If you break it down by counties-- St. Joseph, Marshall, Elkhart and Kosciusko have seen dramatic decreases from 2016 to 2017.

So the question is, why? Sgt. McCay says there are several answers.

"I would like to hope that the changes of legislation has helped, as far as controlling the over counter the sale of pseudoephedrine has probably no doubt had some play in it,” he said.

Sgt. McCay says there's also been a shift in the way people get meth. It's not as easy for people to make their own so they find different sources. Police are now seeing more imported meth from outside places.

"It starts coming across the southern border and it's working its way north,” said Sgt. McCay. “We can't say that meth has went away. Meth itself is here. It's just the point of source has changed."

Police are cautiously optimistic that the production of meth will continue to decrease throughout Indiana.

Though, they say all types of drugs continue to threaten our communities.

“We certainly are keeping our eyes open for emerging threats,” said Sgt. McCay.

Sgt. McCay says those emerging drug threats continues to be opioids and synthetic drugs.

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