Methamphetamine use is rapidly increasing in Fairfield County and showing no signs of slowing down.
Sgt. Rod Hamler of the Fairfield County Major Crimes Unit said chasing tips on meth labs and shutting them down is taking an increasing amount of his time.
Last year, Fairfield County deputies busted 60 meth labs, but this year deputies have already shut down 45.
Hamler said it is because the ingredients are readily available for a drug that is easily cooked in a pop bottle.
“Someone can go to the store and find all the components needed to make and manufacture meth,” Hamler said. “It can be made in a vehicle or in their home.”
Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phelan said the spike in meth use not only destroys the lives of addicts, but has consequences for the whole community.
He said the number of inmates has tripled in 11 years, and instead of one jail, he now houses inmates in three locations. That costs more money.
Phelan also said more women are being housed in the jails now.
“We used to have eight to ten females 11 years ago,” Phelan said. “Today, we have 60 to 70.”
Thefts have also increased in Fairfield County as well.
“Probably 85 percent of our theft-related offenses, when they are breaking in cars and they are breaking in homes, are to support drug habits,” Phelan said.
Phelan stresses that Fairfield County is still a pretty safe place to live and the whole country is fighting drug issues.
Phelan said to end the problem, people need to do a better job teaching kids that meth can scab your face, rot your teeth and turn you into an addict.
Phelan also said there needs to be more rehabilitation facilities for addicts.
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