A newly released study shows meth use is way up in Wisconsin. The 2016 Wisconsin Methamphetamine Study shows use of the highly addictive drug likely increased between 250 and 300 percent from 2011 to 2015.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said price factors into the rampant use across the state., as meth is cheaper to purchase than heroin.
“Costs have dropped because what’s happening is production has switched to coming from the Mexican cartels…and they’re able to produce these illegal drugs very cheaply.”
Schimel said meth used in Wisconsin is being produced in Mexico and trafficked to the state via California or the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The study also shows that methamphetamine use is highest in Northwestern Wisconsin and rural areas of the state.
“I think methamphetamine got a hold early in rural areas because it used to be made in larger production labs in Wisconsin, it’s easier to do it in a rural area. There are odors and things that if you did that in urban areas somebody would make a complaint to the local health department about the chemical smells that are coming out of your building. They can do it out in the middle of the woods and nobody is going to notice,” said Schimel.
Schimel said county departments of human services are dealing with another big challenge with the increased use of this drug in the state. They’re seeing a dramatic increase of the number of children that are having to be placed in other homes.
“Frequently, as much as 70 or 80 percent of the time those increases are linked to parents abusing drugs and more and more it’s methamphetamine,” Schimel said.