Is Meth Back in Dubuque?
by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa-- Recent reports of meth lab busts suggest the highly addictive drug is becoming more prevalent in one Eastern Iowa community.
In Dubuque police are investigating three meth labs in as many weeks. Just last week investigators discovered one after it exploded on the Loras College Campus.
But according to drug task force statistics, the number of meth lab busts in Dubuque County really haven’t changed all that much over the last five years.
So why are we hearing so much about them recently? Drug investigators say there are a couple of reasons.
Drug investigators often refer to meth addiction as chasing the dragon.
Drug Task Force Member Lt. David Haupert said, “From what we’ve seen and heard, the first and second time use, you are addicted to it. ”
Police say after serving a prison sentence, many meth makers are now being released from jail and are right back at it.
Haupert said, “Even seeing people who did go to jail for 6, 8,9 months you would think they would kick the habit, but yet we still continue to see them involved in some way shape of form. ”
Investigators say there’s also a newer and easier way to make meth, called the one pot cook and it’s catching on in the Dubuque area. The meth maker mixes all of the ingredients in a small bottle. Then the cooking process takes less than an hour. Investigators say that method is extremely flammable.
Haupert said, “As the cook is going on and the chemical reactions are changing, if the lithium hits the water it will start to spark. ”
The Dubuque Drug Task Force is investigating a possible meth lab as the cause of an apartment fire on Windsor Avenue last month. Police and fire presence call the public’s attention to investigations like that.
Haupert said, “Meth has never gone away. The methods of manufacturing it are changing and fluctuating. Still we deal with it all the time. ”
As long as people have access to meth making ingredients, investigators say it’s a problem they’ll keep fighting.
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