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Meth Lab Busts Down 40 Percent Last Year

It's been almost two years since the state passed new laws attempting to control the Methamphetamine problem in Missouri.

KSMU's Matt Petcoff explains how the laws are doing their job but why some says more work still needs to be done...

Methamphetamine lab busts are down in Missouri over the past year, but the state still ranks number one in the nation.

The state Highway Patrol recently released figures showing a drop of more than 40 percent, from more than 22-hundred in 2005 to just less than 13-hundred last year.

But, criminology experts say you may be misled if you read too much into these numbers.

Bernard McCarthy is the Director of the Community and Social Issues Institute and a visiting professor of criminology at Missouri State University.

He says these numbers don't necessarily mean there's less meth being used in Missouri.

But, McCarthy says he thinks Missouri is doing a great job attempting to control its meth lab problem.

This decrease comes after the state enacted tougher anti-methamphetamine laws in mid-2005 targeting the ingredients used to make the drug.

So, McCarthy says now the state, and the nation, need to fix the other side of this problem.

Finally, McCarthy says the fact that Missouri still ranks number one in the nation in terms of meth lab busts is not all bad news.

The state with the second highest number of meth lab busts in the same period of time was Illinois.

It had 759 busts compared to Missouri's 1,284.