The prevalence of methamphetamine in Iowa isn’t as abundant as it was five years ago, but there’s still a large enough presence of the drug that an $8 million anti-meth project focusing on 16 states will include Iowa. The advertising campaign is being sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Dale Woolery, with the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy, says Iowa did experience a big reduction in meth labs earlier this decade, but the state is still at the center of the meth epidemic. “We’re in the second year of what appears to be a small resurgence (of meth in Iowa),” Woolery said.
“Last year, the number of meth labs increased for the first time in a fews years and this year we’re tracking at a rate where we’ll probably see another increase.” Woolery says the key to beating the meth epidemic not only involves catching the traffickers, but also keeping people from trying the drug.
“I think with methamphetamine you see a super addictive quality that doesn’t reach out and grab people necessarily, but once someone’s started using, they are susceptible to addiction,” Woolery said. “It can happen rather quickly and it can be a strong hold.” According to the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, meth lab seizures in Iowa peaked in 2004, when law officers were dismantling an average of 125 labs per month.
Now, authorities are discovering fewer than 20 labs per month. In 2005, the Iowa Legislature passed a law limiting sales of non-prescription pseudoephedrine – a key ingredient in meth.