MSP: Fewer meth labs in SW MI, but new problem emerging

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Earlier than opioids and heroin, it was methamphetamine Michigan State Police primarily needed to deal with.

“Methamphetamine has been an issue in southwest Michigan because the Nineteen Nineties,” stated MSP Lt. Richard Pazder, who works in Battle Creek.

Pazder says there’s excellent news and dangerous information on the subject of methamphetamine.

The excellent news: The variety of meth labs seized in Berrien, Department, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties has dropped from 407 in 2015 to 240 in 2016. Up to now this yr, the variety of seized labs is one hundred and five.

“The one-pot labs that we’re seeing go down, that’s a very good factor for our surroundings (and) it’s a great factor for regulation enforcement as a result of a one-pot meth lab is principally a pressurized 20 ounce pop bottle, if you’ll,” Pazder defined.

Then there’s the dangerous information. Pazder says his division is seeing an uptick in crystal methamphetamine.

“As a result of it’s cheaper, as a result of it’s available, increasingly individuals are turning to crystal methamphetamine fairly than producing methamphetamine out of a pop bottle,” he stated.

Though meth is very addictive, Pazder says it’s not as deadly as the opioid epidemic.

“Whereas methamphetamine is a really significant issue and might be in our group for a few years to return, a minimum of it’s not taking as many lives as what we’re seeing from the heroin epidemic,” he stated.

Pazder says the drop in meth labs is just not essentially due to the rising opioid drawback.

“I feel it’s only a matter of a drug of selection and availability for some individuals,” he added.

Pazder says the rise of crystal meth means there might be a bigger variety of individuals utilizing meth general.

“It’s good that we’re seeing that meth labs are taking place,” stated Pazder. “It’s good for our surroundings, it’s good for security of our individuals. It’s simply unlucky that it’s a sort of a cheerful aspect impact of a extra significant issue.”

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