Fewer Meth Labs, But More Meth

Nov 13, 2014

An annual report to the Iowa legislature and governor shows an increase in the amounts, potency, and use of methamphetamine in Iowa.

The 2015 Iowa Drug Control Strategy also found an increase in drug-related child abuse. Cases involving children testing positive for drugs and in the presence of meth manufacturing is at a five-year high.

Steven Lukan, director of The Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy, says some of this has to do with geography. Iowa sits in the middle of the country and therefore is a thoroughfare for drug-trafficking.

"There is a major networking that happens across the country with meth coming up from Mexico," says Lukan. "So one of the reasons you maybe see some of higher numbers, is because there's been some better work done to try to catch that."

On a more positive note, the report found the number of meth labs in the state discovered by law enforcement officials this year is on track to be the lowest in 17 years. The vast majority of meth is smuggled into Iowa.

Additionally, drug-related Iowa prison admissions have decreased for the second year in a row.  And 60 percent of Iowans completing substance abuse treatment had full or part-time work.

"I think some of the MEDICAID expansion has helped," says Lukan. "More people are able to get into drug treatment."