Charlotte Police Working to Tackle Growing Meth 'Epidemic'

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Last year Eaton County had one of the highest rates of meth lab busts in the entire state.

In Charlotte alone police said the rates are double what they were just a year ago, and it's not just meth.

"There is concern with the community because they've seen some of the incidents in town this year," said Jeremy Poortvliet with the Charlotte police department.

The boom in reported meth labs is something that's been reported on News 10 several times in recent months including two incidents this past March.

Poortvliet said it's a growing epidemic--not just in Charlotte--but communities across the state.

"It is a cheaper drug to produce and it has some of the same effects as other drugs," he said. "But it seems to be more harmful and is easier to come by and people can produce it."

Monday night Charlotte police and Recovery Network Inc. hosted a "Community Emerging Drug Trends" forum to educate the community in hopes of curbing the trend.

"We'd like to give them knowledge of the signs so they can observe if someone is abusing drugs or someone's producing methamphetamine."

Those in attendance, like Tim Haney a local substance abuse counselor, said the unique partnership is a good starting point to tackling the issue.

"Something you don't see a lot is the police working with recovery organizations," he said.

"Instead of just saying it's a problem where we need to put people in jail but saying this is a problem we've identified and people need to get help."

Monday night's presentation also stressed the problem goes way beyond meth and also includes synthetic and prescription drugs too.

Darby Monks, a clinician with Eaton Behavior Health, said the forum provided a good basis of community support and hoped it was just the beginning a bigger initiative.

"I'd love to see every community member out here, whether you're struggling with addiction or finding recovery, or worried about your neighbors," she said.

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