The interim director at the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Dale Woolery, talked about the issue during budget hearings. He says methamphetamine use is surging even as meth labs in the state are at a 20-year low.
“So the addiction piece of the meth equation is still there. It never left us and it’s probably as big as it’s been,” Woolery says. “So, we clearly need to be doing more on that front.” Woolery says meth is being brought in from outside the U.S. and taking the place of the drug that was cut back as Iowa meth labs were reduced.
“We’re seeing larger amounts of meth seized by law enforcement in Iowa. The purity of meth is up. Number of Iowans going into drug treatment for meth is at or near an all-time high — over 10,000 admissions last year. And meth related prison admissions are also up,” according to Woolery.
Katie Bee of the IDPH Bureau of Substance Abuse says meth has moved ahead of marijuana for the first time in the state as the second most reported drug by adults at admission to treatment. Alcohol remains number one drug adults seek treatment for — while marijuana remains the number one drug of choice for juveniles. She says you can get help at Iowa’s treatment network, which can be found at: yourlifeiowa.org.