State officials say the rise methamphetamine use in Missouri most affects rural areas, where there’s a shortage of treatment centers.
Former meth addict Dustin Siebert, who lives and works in the Glennonville, an unincorporated town in the Bootheel, said he was hooked on meth at age 19.
He said he’s been clean for four years after 15 years of use.
“You just get tired of losing everything you have, it takes everything,” Siebert said. “You lose your house, your joy, your peace, your sanity, your children, it takes everything from you.”
He said ever since the late ’80s and early ’90s, the drug has devastated his area.
“I know grandparents that are getting high with grandkids,” Siebert said.
Siebert said meth is now coming in truck loads instead of being made in home labs, and “it’s more potent now, and it’s cheaper now.”
Area officials told ABC 17 News on Monday that despite a massive decrease in meth labs the drug remains a powerful force in Missouri. Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said his department is on track to make 83 percent more meth arrests in 2018 than in 2017.
ABC 17 News contacted Turning Point Recovery Center in Mexico, Missouri, about the reported rise in meth use.
Director Gary Stone said it’s a very strong, addictive drug.
“We work with people addicted to meth on a daily basis,” Stoner said.
He said the relapse rate is substantial and getting help is stigmatized.
“It’s always that taboo subject when you’re talking about any mental health disorder,” Stoner said.
He said in rural Missouri there’s a lack of resources in general.
“There’s not enough jobs, there’s not enough funds for employment, housing,” Stoner said.
Stoner said another issue is that many of meth users get out of jail and only to land in the same setting that led them to be addicted and incarcerated in the first place.
By Kelsey Kernstine | KMIZ 17 News