National Methamphetamine Awareness Day

November 30, 2006 - Posted at 6:45 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The war on drugs is a battle that's been fought across the United States for years... but Thursday the emphasis was on meth, which accounts for up to 90 percent of all drug cases in many Midwest communities.

Thursday is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day but unfortunately, it's a problem that isn't going away soon.

"Methamphetamine is currently the number one most abused drug in the country," said DEA Task Force Officer Roger Case, "Primarily in Arkansas, it's a scourged drug.  It's taken the place of almost all the other major drugs including cocaine and crack cocaine as the number one abused drug in the state."

As ASU students listened to a presentation Thursday...the message was clear.  Meth equals death.

"It is just so critical that people not make the mistake to try this drug even one time.  It's a wicked drug, it's highly addictive and it destroys your body and it will destroy your marriage and it will destroy your job and it will destroy your life," said Bud Cummins, U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Arkansas.

The traditionally Caucasian drug started out mostly abused by teens...but the demographics have changed. "It's crossed racial and economic's a drug for everyone now," said Case.

Missouri leads the nation in seized meth labs...but the drug is found across the U.S.

"In the past it was centered primarily on the west coast, now we still see large numbers of super labs on the west coast but those are dropping thanks to a national effort to curtail the distribution and importation of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine," said Case.

Methamphetamine use among high school seniors more than doubled between 1990 & 1996.