The demand for methamphetamine has surged again over the past year despite government and law enforcement efforts to curtail the drug. Three years ago Summit County approved an ordinance that moved one of the main ingredients sudephedrine behind the counter. it was supposed to limit meth makers access to the drug. But the restriction has failed to stop the growing number of meth making labs.
Summit County Sheriff's Inspector Bill Holland says its frustrating, because the meth lab operators are coming up with new ways to try and stay ahead of law enforcement. " The meth cooks and meth addicts, they continue to be innovative. For a while when we had large labs in residences, these labs were being taken down. We we cracking down on these labs, then the "one pot" method pops up, and people are able to carry them around in a back pack, and make smaller quantities," says Holland.
So where are the meth makers getting sudephedrine now ? " Some could be purchasing it overseas. They may have inside sales from a store, thefts, things like that. That's some of the ways people are still getting it. So all we can do is make it as difficult as possible for them to acquire that," says Holland.
Holland says its the demand that's driving the meth trade and the meth makers are trying to stay one step ahead of meth house raids by putting smaller labs in cars, and even back packs. Holland says that increases the danger to to the public.
There is also concern that more small children are being found in meth houses and mobile meth labs and the chemicals used to make the drug can endanger their health.
Bill Holland says all local law enforcement can do is keep up the pressure on meth lab operators and try to slow them down.