NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
State drug help line:
National crisis line:
The situation: Tennessee is suffering one
of the worst meth lab epidemics in the nation.
In 2010, more than 2,000 meth labs were
uncovered by law enforcement. Already this
year labs have been busted at the rate of
about five per day statewide including one
incident that yielded the largest toxic dumpsite in recent memory. Tennessee Meth Task Force Director Tommy Farmer said the
epidemic got started around the turn of the
century when some "Johnny Appleseed" cooks brought the recipe from California and Oklahoma. Since then, more than 11,000 labs have been found. At the same time the manufacture of the drug has soared, treatment admissions for meth have dropped or remained steady. (see below). Funding for public treatment facilities has been cut in recent years.
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Meth lab increases
Statewide East Middle West.
Tennessee law enforcement found 2,082 labs in 2010
Source: Tennessee Meth Task Force
Meth in Tennessee
-- While labs and seizures continue to climb, the number of people admitted to treatment facilities for meth addiction has levelled off. Those checking in for meth problems:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
541 414 287 277 338 324
-- According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3% of Tennessee secondary students say they have used methamphetamine at least once. Nationally the percentage is 4.1%.
-- The Drug Enforcement Administration reports interdictions of 140.6 Kg. of meth in Tennessee during 2010. That is the third highest state seizure amount in the country.
Speaking of meth in Tennessee
"They're not afraid of me. They're more afraid of not getting high again. They [meth users] were addicted before they came to court, and that's their master. I've been on the bench 12 years, and this is a weekly frustration I have."
-- Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton
"We've seen clients as young as 9 years old," Wells said. "Mom and Dad will be on it, and they'll test positive. We've had five generations from a family in Polk County."
-- Linda Wells, president of Action Counseling and Consulting in Cleveland, Tenn.