Meth Use in Iowa On the Rise, Again

Oct 26, 2015

Denise Moore started using meth when she was 12 years old. She was arrested in her late 30’s, and nearly lost her children. Today, however, she’s sober and working to help other families recover from drug addiction.

“I come from a world and a culture of substance abuse and domestic violence. I started using substances at 12 years old, and I continued down that path until it came to a point where I was selling drugs to support my habit and my family,” Moore explains. “I remember thinking years before that time, 'how will I stop using drugs?' It became such a lifestyle for me. I had to use to get out of bed in the morning. It was the hardest thing for me, learning to live life sober.”

I come from a world and a culture of substance abuse and domestic violence. I started using substances at 12 years old. - Denise Moore

Moore got clean after she was arrested for selling meth to an undercover cop. She says that telling her children she was going away is a vivid memory.

“My children knew what was going on. They had to come home to check and see if there was stuff laying around before bringing friends over,” she says. “I came home one day and my house was being raided.”

During this hour on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Moore about her recovery and about the Parent Partner Program at the Iowa Department of Human Services which aims to help addicts reunite with their children.

Paul Fedderson, Assistant Director of Narcotics Enforcement at the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and Jay Hansen, Executive Director of Prairie Ridge Integrative Behavioral Health Care, also join the conversation. 

Hansen says he's seeing an increase in admissions for methamphetamine addiction. 

Today, the average sample seized is 98% pure. That's compared to 10 years ago when meth was between 14% and 40% pure. - Paul Fedderson

We’re not seeing a huge increase in meth admissions, but they are gradually starting to climb,” he says. “Even though the number of labs have decreased, the amount of meth available has increased.”

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, less than five percent of meth used in Iowa is produced in the state, as most of the supply in being imported from Mexico. Fedderson says there's been a drastic increase in the purity of the drug. 

"Today, the average sample seized is 98% pure. That's compared to 10 years ago when meth was between 14% and 40% pure," Fedderson explains.