The number of methamphetamine incidents has decreased in Northwest Missouri in the last few years, according to statistics.

A meth incident is classified into one of three ways, meth laboratories, chemical/equipment/glassware seizures, and dumpsites. In 2015, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H, as well as Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, reported three meth lab busts in Buchanan County. In 2016 and 2017, neither agencies reported any.

“The labs have been nonexistent for us,” said Capt. Shawn Collie with the Drug Strike Force.

According to Collie, the manufacturing of meth has declined because it can be purchased in quantity for so much cheaper. He said the effort put into manufacturing meth is not worth it.

The manufacturing of methamphetamine has dropped in Buchanan County, but the use of it is still on the rise.

“Meth is still out there; it’s still a problem and it is still very prevalent,” said Sgt. Jake Angle with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Our officers are trying to take as much of that off the road.”

In 2017, the Drug Strike Force seized about 32,000 grams of meth. In 2016, around 52,000 grams were confiscated. In 2015, 28,000 grams were seized by the force.

The numbers also show that since meth labs have disappeared in the area, the Drug Strike Force has confiscated larger amounts of the drug. Collie said most of these seizures come from vehicles traveling in or through the county.

“Our larger seizures are probably going to be on some type of an interdiction. Whether it’s on the highway, where one of our people — sheriff’s department, deputies or Highway Patrol — have stopped someone with a large amount of meth,” Collie said.

The Drug Strike Force said people will try to come up with new ways to import drugs into the community.

In order to crack down on the drug problem, the Drug Strike Force said all the local law enforcement agencies must communicate and work together.

There are different networking programs out there that allow agencies to perform deconfliction checks to make sure that another department is not already working on that individual.

“Luckily, here in our area and throughout Northwest Missouri we have really great relationships with everybody and work with everybody to get the job done,” Collie said.

By Kristen Carver | News Press Now