Even though we're seeing more arrests, police departments across Tennessee say the meth problem is on the rise and something needs to be done to stop it.
All too often, we're hearing stories about meth labs and dump sites being discovered around the Tri-Cities. "As a single parent of two little boys, that's my fear every day, that there is going to be another [lab] over here, over there. It just seems like it's rising more and more every day," says concerned parent Layla Jones.
People like Jones want something done about the problem. That's why Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam introduced a bill to cut down on meth production, which limits the amount of cold medicine a person can buy. "It's being changed to 2.4 grams maximum per month, which is a 10-day supply," adds Anderson Compounding pharmacist Mark Flanary.
We discovered it also gives pharmacist a chance to override the law and give patients another 10-day supply if they feel like the need is legitimate. If patients need more than that in a 30-day period, they'll need a prescription. "We never want to take it from people that need it legitimately, but there are so many people that are abusing it that it's caused this problem," says Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes.
Sheriff Mathes tells us the meth crackdown will hopefully protect children. "The statistic that bothers me is that one out of every three children that are taken in the State of Tennessee that will be taking into foster care is a result of meth," he said.
Hearing statistics like that makes people like Layla Jones support the governor's bill 100 percent. "I think that it's one step closer to trying to help the problem that we've got going on," she said.
We're told the Tennessee Association of Sheriffs supports Governor Haslam's legislation and says something needs to be done to crack down on the problem.