STATEHOUSE (Aug. 17, 2017) – New data released by the Indiana State Police indicates a 58 percent decline in statewide methamphetamine lab seizures so far this year, according to State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City).
Indiana State Police reports 254 meth lab busts occurred from January through June, representing a 58 percent drop from the 605 incidents during the same period in 2016. In addition, the number of children removed from meth lab environments went down nearly 68 percent from 108 to 35 cases.
“Thanks to the action taken by Indiana State Police, local police departments and watchful pharmacy staff, Indiana is seeing a significant drop in meth lab busts,” Mahan said. “Unfortunately, the work isn’t over. It’s heartbreaking knowing any child has been caught in this epidemic, and in order to provide all Hoosier children a safe environment to grow up, we must continue to be vigilant in our fight against drug abuse.”
Mahan, a former sheriff, said meth labs are dangerous to innocent children and unsuspecting neighbors because they leave behind toxic contamination and can easily catch fire or explode. Meth lab accidents often cause costly injuries to meth cooks and first responders. Over the past two years, child removals from Indiana meth labs declined approximately 81 percent. Mahan said more children were removed from meth labs during a single month in 2015 than the first half of 2017.
"As we continue to take action to help curb drug abuse in our state, we must remember that we cannot arrest our way out of this epidemic,” Mahan said. “Some of our most effective efforts have stemmed from commonsense reforms that prevent large purchases of key ingredients to make meth and provide treatment addiction services.”
During the 2016 session, Mahan supported a law to combat Indiana’s growing number of meth labs. Mahan said the law makes purchasing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant as well as key ingredient used to manufacture meth, more difficult for criminal networks and meth cooks. The law also empowers local pharmacists to use their professional judgment to ensure law-abiding consumers maintain legitimate access to these cold medications.
State Rep. Kevin Mahan represents House District 31, which includes
Blackford County and portions of Delaware, Grant and Wells counties.
A high-resolution photo of Mahan can be downloaded by clicking here.