Police: meth seizures climb in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - Crime in your neighborhood: Springfield Police said they are seizing more methamphetamine. That is even though meth lab busts are the lowest they have been in seven years.

"It really is a community issue. It's a community problem. Police can't arrest their way out of this community problem,” said Springfield Police Public Affairs Officer, Lisa Cox.

Police said the Mexican drug cartel is bringing in a purer form of meth which is why officers said people in Springfield are making less meth at home.

KSPR News’ Stephanie Garland talked to a former addict about meth in Springfield.

“There’s an image of drug sales of guys standing in corners and people are dropping money in buckets and that may happen in bigger cities, but in Springfield I don’t think that’s what’s happening,” said Licensed Practical Counselor, Maribeth Primm.

Maribeth Primm might not look like a “typical” meth addict, but she has been in recovery for almost ten years. Now a substance abuse counselor, she helps people struggling with addiction.

“I was not the person I am today,” Primm said.

Springfield Police said officers went from busting more than a hundred meth labs in 2011 to only busting a couple this year. Springfield Police said it is because people are not making the meth in Springfield.

“We’ve seen a drastic decline in the meth labs seized in Springfield, largely due to the meth that’s coming across the Mexican border due to cartels,” Cox said.

“I think it gets a little bit more hype because it comes from Mexico,” Primm stated.

Cox said officers are adapting.

“It is a different type of investigation when you are dealing with cartels bringing it into the area potentially. They have to work those differently. Can’t really get into too many details on that,” Cox continued.

Primm said she is seeing meth used among this age group.

“Primarily 20s and 30s,” Primm stated.

“It’s still a problem because it’s still so easy to get. It’s become more of a widespread issue year after year. The amount in pounds Springfield Police are seizing each year is more than doubling,” Cox said.

Primm warns anyone can get addicted. But some people are more prone than others.

“I grew up in a great family. My parents went to church all the time. I was really smart. There was nothing in my life other than the fact my brain works differently than other peoples,” declared Primm.

She started the road to addiction when she was just 13-years-old.

“It doesn’t discriminate and parents being in denial about that can be really dangerous,” Primm finished.

Here are signs your children may be on drugs: frequent nosebleeds, seizures without a history of epilepsy, unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing, and bloodshot eyes.