Local News

Authorities Say Meth Use is Still an Epidemic in Triangle Area

Posted November 30, 2006 7:19 p.m. EST

When it comes to methamphetamine production in North Carolina, the news is getting better. The number of labs found by authorities is down, and new laws make it tougher to buy the drug's ingredients. But most lawmakers agreed Thursday that the problem is far from over.

U.S. Attorney George Holding and sheriffs from Triangle-area counties took time out on Methamphetamine Awareness Day to talk about the ever-growing threat of meth labs.

Despite a 40 percent drop in meth lab busts, law enforcement from counties near the Triangle said the labs are thriving. Twenty-three labs in Harnett County and 12 more in Sampson County have been found.

Authorities said drugs imported from Mexico are taking over across the area. Traffic from super-labs across the border has contributed in making use of the drug an epidemic. According to the people at the summit, meth use is killing families and communities.

"I heard a fellow say a few weeks ago that drug crimes are a victimless crime," said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bissell. "Well, they need to come sit in my office and see the mom and the dad, the grandma and grandpa. Their families are destroyed because their meth dealers that sold their child meth."

Meth labs can operate out of closets or in the back of pickup trucks. On Wednesday evening, Johnston County authorities arrested an alleged drug dealer who was found with a working meth lab in the trunk of his automobile.