Shrinking Federal Funds for Meth Lab Cleanups Hitting Tennessee Hard
A major reduction in federal funds to clean up meth labs is having a negative impact in Tennessee, where methamphetamine use has been spiking. From 2007 to 2010, the state saw a 250 percent rise in meth lab incidents, busts and explosions, CBS News reports. Tommy Farmer of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force called meth an epidemic in the state.
According to the CBS report, meth is not difficult to make. The “shake and bake” method uses a soda bottle and meth’s key ingredient, pseudoephedrine, which is found in many cold medicines. Once meth is made, it leaves behind a toxic mess that costs about $2,500 per meth lab to clean up.
Until this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spent as much as $20 million annually to help states clean up meth labs. In 2011, however, the DEA budget for meth lab cleanups has been reduced to $8.3 million, and may be wiped out entirely next year, according to the report.
Since federal funds have been reduced, meth lab seizures have fallen by as much as 50 percent in Tennessee.