Meth is growing in the shadow of the opiod crisis

Meth awareness signs on garbage truck. September 11, 2017 (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

FOND DU LAC (WLUK) -- Growing in the shadow of opioids, Drug Free Communities coordinator, Ellen Sorensen, said meth use is rising and it's not just the users that are being affected.

"It can be airborne. The toxicity can be inhaled by children or it can be topical through skin contact," Sorensen said. "Many times those children have to go in the hospital and be checked because the proximity of the meth."

In the most recent study by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, it shows meth use increased 250 percent between 2011 to 2015.

"The meth that we're seeing now, the majority of it is being trafficked in from either Mexico or Asia," Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb said.

The study also shows an increase in meth offenses. In 2010, there were 327 charges related to meth possession. In 2014, that number jumped to 1,069.

"Our drug task force investigators are reporting that they are seeing increasingly more meth than they are heroin over the course of the last several months," said Lamb.

Lamb added that his department is working closely with Drug Free Communities Task Force to combat the issue.

The first project is displaying a sign that reads, "The Stuff in Here is the Stuff in Meth" on a garbage truck.

"Barron County, WI had this sort of sign on their garbage trucks and found that it had really effective means to their communities," Sorensen said.

Currently only one truck has the drug awareness sign. The sign is magnetic, allowing organizers to easily maneuver the sign to different garbage trucks.

"Meth is so toxic," Sorensen said. "You're really putting garbage in the body."

The state is also stepping up its efforts. Attorney General Brad Schimel appointed an assistant to help prosecute cases related to meth.

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