Meth labs down in Idaho, meth use stagnates

December 10, 2014 - KTVB

BOISE — It is one of the biggest public safety and public health issues our state faces, meth use. That’s despite much less meth being produced here in Idaho. That’s because now, it’s being shipped in.

Nampa Police are still investigating a meth lab found at a Nampa home Tuesday night.

Tyler Deal lives next door. “There were a lot of people coming in and out of this house.”

Nampa officers found chemicals and equipment used to make meth, and arrested 37-year-old Veryl Terry.

But, according to Elisha Figueroa, with the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, meth labs are becoming more rare in Idaho. That’s the good news. The bad news, according to Figueroa, is, “Meth is still a big problem. In Idaho, it’s not homegrown any more. We don’t see a lot of meth labs. We don’t see a lot of meth lab busts any more. But, what we see, is it’s being trafficked in from Mexico.”

Figueroa and Idaho State Police say drug cartels in Mexico are now shipping in most of Idaho’s meth. So, while the Idaho Meth Project has succeeded in reducing the amount of young people using meth, it’s still being used by about the same amount of Idaho adults.

Also, Figueroa says, when compared to meth houses, this drug activity is tougher to identify, “It’s difficult for the average citizen to see drugs being trafficked up and down the freeway.”

So, how can average Idahoans help fight drug abuse here? The quickest-growing drug problem in Idaho is prescription drug abuse. The battle against that actually starts with all of us.

“There are things that we can do proactively to fight that issue. We can ensure that our medications are locked up. Then, when you’re finished with your medications, dispose of them in the proper manner,” says Figueroa. “It’s something that everybody can take a little piece of and be responsible for.”

If you are looking to get rid of your un-needed prescriptions, there are 44 law enforcement agencies across the state that can take them for you.

Also, besides prescription drugs and meth, Figueroa says marijuana is the third real big drug issue Idaho is facing. She says, with surrounding states legalizing it, more people here are trafficking it, and using it.

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