According to the latest surveys, the number 1 drug problem for many counties across the country is methamphetamine users. This synthetic drug that is easily manufactured has quickly spread from the West Coast and has moved into Minnesota. Law enforcement officials throughout Minnesota blame methamphetamine use as one of the causes behind the rise in urban and suburban crime, including homicides in several of the stateâ€™s metro counties.
Meth use was once thought to be mostly a rural problem. However, the use of meth is steadily spreading into suburban and urban reaches of the Twin Cities. Rising numbers of teenagers are meth users and statitics show an increase in crimes and other violence.
The Star Tribune has reported the following meth case statistics:
â€¢ Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom says meth cases have risen from a handful in 2001 to 446 charges of meth sale or possession last year, one-quarter of all felonies charged.
â€¢ According to Assistant County Attorney Nancy Norman of Anoka County estimates more than half of all child-protection cases there involve meth abuse.
â€¢ County Attorney Susan Gaertner in Ramsey County says meth prosecutions soared from 24 cases in 1999 to 301 last year.
National statitics show that 70 percent of robberies or burglaries have increased because of meth use and with domestic violence increasing by 62 percent this â€œepidemicâ€ is affecting urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. What is needed is more public awareness education to help people make better decisions along with aggressive drug enforcement.