Meth use hits record high in Tennessee

While much attention has been paid to the opioid epidemic in the state, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says meth use is an an all time high.

“Meth is here. It’s everywhere. We’re at the point now where we’re saturated at the street level with methamphetamine,” said Kyle Hixson, the Deputy District Attorney General in Knox County tells WBIR-TV. “It’s still killing people. It still is dangerous as it ever was. Unfortunately here in Knoxville, I’m afraid to say, we probably have more of it than we’ve ever had.”

The state in recent years has cracked down on meth labs and tightened rules on obtaining cold medicines used to make the illegal drug. But now the narcotic is coming from other sources.

“It’s just like squeezing air out of a balloon. If you get rid of the home-brew meth, it’s going to come from somewhere else,” Hixson told WBIR. “What we’ve really seen is just a massive influx of crystal meth coming across the southern border from Mexico.”

Tommy Farmer, the special agent in charge of the  TBI’s Drug Division says Mexican meth has made up for the decrease in local production.

“Lab seizures are down about 82 percent across our state, but yet the supply of Mexican methamphetamine, smuggling tactics and techniques and what they’re using to get it across the border is unfortunately much, much better,” said Farmer. “Meth use and abuse is at an all time high. And we can substantiate that with our partners at mental health and substance abuse who are seeing the increase in treatment requests.”


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