"People are going to have to realize that the problem is here. It's a gigantic problem. It's got to stop somewhere. You can't incarcerate the world," said Sheriff Jack McCann.
So, as we explored the costs of meth on society, we asked what are the solutions?
One came with the help of pharmacies.
When our report first aired, Craighead, Poinsett, and Cross counties had just started the "Meth Check" program which electronically reports the purchase of products containing pseudophederine to local law enforcement.
"Now, within 15 minutes of someone going to a pharmacy and making a purchase, we know. If you want to know how much they've purchased in the various counties, you can just enter a name and it will pull all of that information up for you," said McCann.
Now the State of Arkansas has joined the effort passing Act 508 that will fund the "Meth Check" program in all counties by May of 2008.
"They saw what happened when we put these drugs behind the counter and had people sign for them. It had a tremendous impact. This will just add to that. The legislators saw that, and that's why they funded this program statewide," said McCann.
Another key solution mentioned in our report was rehabilitation programs like the Agape House in Paragould.
Telly Gilbee, now 31-years-old first tried meth 15 years ago when she was a senior in high school.
"I was convinced that the Meth was going to kill me. I was totally hopeless. I did not have a clue who to talk to, or where to go. I didn't have any money to get any help. I just did not know what to do at all," said Gilbee.
Finally, her mother contacted police, and an officer helped Gilbee make a life changing choice.
"He came to the door and he asked for me. I went outside and he asked me to come sit down. He said, do you have a problem. I said, yes I do. He goes, do you sincerely want help? I said, yes I do. He said okay, so I got in his car, and he took me to the Agape House, and the Agape House has totally saved my life," she said.
There, Gilbee learned a lot about love and how to turn her life around.
"I got there and everything was about God. Everybody loved each other. It was so overwhelming, because everybody was like, I love you. I was like, wow..that's something I haven't heard in a long time from just strangers," she said.
Gilbee stayed at Agape House for 7 months, completing the program and becoming a house mother.
Now 9 months clean, she's proud of another accomplishment, one that brings the costs of meth full circle.
"I just finished my first semester of college. I got straight A's. I want to major in criminal justice. I have kicked a 15 year Meth addiction with no felony charges, so I would like to be a parole officer someday, because I want to help people and give them the hope I've been given. To let them know they can get their life right, and they don't have to go to prison and stay there. There are people in the community to help them," said Gilbee.
We would like to congratulate Telly Gilbee on her accomplishments, and Wednesday night on K8 news at Six, we'll go inside the Drug Court program to see how it too, is making a difference.