ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — For the first time since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab began keeping detailed statistics, the agency said methamphetamine eclipsed marijuana as the most-submitted drug in the state in 2019.
7th District Attorney General Dave Clark says the number of meth labs are decreasing, but the amount of meth being brought into our area is increasing.
“The meth that we’re seeing today is not home grown or made in labs in the East Tennessee area. The meth that we’re seeing today is imported from Mexico and is brought up typically by gangs.” Clark said.
Simon Byrne, director of the 7th district crime task force discusses how it has become easier to obtain.
“Two or three years ago, we would pay probably 300-350 dollars for what’s called a ball or 3.5 grams of methamphetamine and now it’s as cheap as 130 dollars here,” Byrne said.
The DA says there is still more work to do to fight this epidemic.
“We need lots of tools to make a difference. We need treatment options, we need punishment options and frankly, we struggle in Tennessee to find both. We’re trying to interdict the drugs so they never get here. We’re trying to educate children not to try or get involved in these drugs because once the addiction has started, it’s much more difficult to treat or stop the addiction than it is to prevent it.” Clark said.