Meth is short for methamphetamine, a highly addictive controlled substance. Meth has been around for a long time, but rural areas across the country have experienced explosions in use and manufacturing in the preceding decades as small meth laboratories have begun to dot the landscape. Manufacturing meth involves extremely volatile chemicals and creates a serious explosion hazard, but these dangers don’t dissuade the most serious users and dealers. The necessary ingredients are all readily available, and small town meth labs are unfortunately not uncommon.
Despite efforts to monitor and control the ingredients for methamphetamine, labs continue to pop up, and Michigan may be in the throes of a meth crisis. A recent report states that “since 2013, Michigan police officers have found more than 1,500 meth labs and dump sites for lab equipment.” Number of discovered labs reached a record high in 2014, over 850, as Michigan continues on its way to being the fastest growing area for production and distribution of methamphetamine.
This growing problem is dangerous for residents and law enforcement. More than one lab has exploded in Michigan, causing tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and risking human life. Illegal labs dump their hazardous by products all over the state, and more drugs made means more users and more addicts. This potent stimulant is highly addictive and can lead to permanent cognitive impairment and death. Users who escape with their lives often lose everything else to the drug, including jobs, loved ones, health and opportunity. Finally, as more and more of the state’s resources go to controlling the meth problem, there is less and less available for other pressing law enforcement issues.
As with many crime waves, the recent proliferation of meth manufacturing in Michigan followed difficult economic times. Michigan was hit hard by the countrywide economic crisis in 2008, and many families and communities are still struggling to make ends meet. This is especially true in the many rural areas around Michigan, where access to jobs and education opportunities is even more limited. This tough economic climate combined with the cheap accessibility of ingredients for methamphetamine has created a perfect storm of dealers trying to make money and users trying to escape hard times.
This complex problem probably won’t begin to subside any time soon. In order to make a dent, officials first must do a better job at tracking and restricting ingredients used in meth manufacturing. Targeted outreach for at risk communities must also be a priority. Unfortunately, many of these Michigan populations remain hotbeds for meth activity because they are small, poor, and difficult to police on the budget of small local law enforcement agencies.
If you have been charged with a meth crime in Michigan, it’s important to protect your rights and your future. Call Davis Law Group PLLC today to speak with a Michigan meth defense lawyer at (313) 818-3238.