TN on track to be no. 1 meth state in the US

5:27 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Editor's note:   We're received further clarification on some of the numbers we reported Tuesday night.

It's too soon to know if Tennessee is indeed number one in the country for meth use, however, we are on track for that distinction, along with Missouri.

According to Tommy Farmer with the Tennessee Meth Task Force, there are five to seven meth lab busts a day in the state, around 200 every month.

Farmer also provided some clarification about the cleanup costs.   Currently, local law enforcement officials are trained to clean up a scene and take the hazardous materials to a centralized location, where it's picked up.  The cost for that is $500.

It costs a lot more to decontaminate a property, anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, and that burden falls on the property owner.   Farmer says that's why we have 1400 homes statewide that are currently listed as contaminated.

We've corrected the information in the story below.

State officials say Tennessee is on track to be number one in the country for meth use. Tennessee has ranked among the top three states for meth since 2007 and is neck and neck with Missouri for the number one spot.

So far this month, Tennessee officials have found more than 715 meth labs. TBI says it's averaging one meth bust each day.  Total, TBI says meth is costing Tennessee taxpayers more than $1 billion per year.

"It's a use cost to people who have nothing to do with meth," said Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson. "You can't just put this stuff in a trash bag and take it to the landfill. It has to be disposed of properly."

Right now, the Meth Task Force supplements Tennessee counties with equipment and training to fight meth use, but without additional federal funding this year, the Meth Task Force will be dissolved, placing those costs on local sheriff's offices in 2014.

Most Watched Videos