Iowa’s winning the war on at least one drug. New state figures show continued dramatic drops in methamphetamine lab busts across Iowa. Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson says new legislation and law enforcement efforts have combined to drastically cut the amount of meth being made in Iowa.

Pederson says “We’ve reduced meth manufacturing labs in our state by over 77-percent over the last year or year and a half. That’s been directly related to the passage of a bill making it more difficult for those people who wish to make meth to get a hold of the ingredients to do so. The bill that was passed that made it difficult to purchase multiple amounts of pseudoephedrine has dramatically decreased the manufacture of methamphetamine in our state.”

Pederson says the number of meth labs being discovered in Iowa has been falling for months. She says “A year ago, there were about 125 meth labs discovered a month. Now, it’s reduced to about 28 a month across the state. That’s a huge reduction and it allows us to redirect our resources to go after those people who are importing methamphetamine to our state.”

The increase in meth usage and addiction in the Midwest has been compared to the crack epidemic that gripped larger cities two decades ago. Pederson says meth is highly addictive and often leads people who are hooked to violence. Pederson says “Beyond that, the manufacture of methamphetamine endangers people around you. It’s not only those who are involved in the manufacture of an illegal drug. Often times there are children present and it’s a very toxic and dangerous drug. Explosions can happen so if it’s happening in an apartment building, innocent bystanders can be killed or injured.”

Pederson spoke at ceremonies this week in Mason City, Marshalltown and Nevada to thank law officers for their efforts in curbing the scourge of meth. Thursday was National Meth Awareness Day.